Advancing Medical Science

Writing New Chapters

Every year, medical science and technology seem to advance at an ever more rapid pace, bringing hope for breakthroughs on serious illnesses and debilitating conditions. Intermountain has a long history of healthcare innovation, and we continue to build on that legacy.

Years ago, we organized clinicians and medical experts into 10 Clinical Program teams covering most of the clinical conditions we treat. These teams continue to serve us today as they work together reviewing medical literature, evaluating processes and data, and developing evidence-based best practices that caregivers can apply to treat patients in a consistent and effective way.

This section highlights examples of medical science advancements and clinical program implementation in 2018.

"Every one of these babies that I take care of is a legacy."

Neonatologist Erick Ridout, MD, at Intermountain Dixie Regional Medical Center, has helped care for hundreds of preemies needing critical care. His work to reduce needle draws in preemies has significantly improved care and outcomes while also reducing costs. In this animated illustration of his StoryCorps conversation, Dr. Ridout remembers Macy, one of the first babies for which he counted pokes.

This interview is provided courtesy of StoryCorps. More interviews available on our website.

3D-Printed Model Helps Doctors Remove Complicated Brain Tumor

Faced with complex surgery to remove a large, precariously placed tumor behind Cheryl Leward’s left eye, doctors at Intermountain Medical Center collaborated and worked quickly with Intermountain Healthcare’s Transformation Lab to create and study a 3D-printed model of the tumor in intricate detail. Having the model before surgery helped doctors anticipate what they would find and better explain how the surgery would be done, which Cheryl says provided a surprising emotional lift.

Protocols for Treating and Reversing Effects of a Stroke

A caregiver team at Intermountain Utah Valley Hospital activated the Neurosciences Clinical Program’s stroke procedures for a patient thought to have experienced a seizure but who, in fact, was suffering a stroke. The team’s timely activation of the well-understood and practiced steps made a major difference in the patient’s life.

Targeted Immunotherapy Gives Cancer Patient New Chance at Life

When a patient in southwestern Utah was diagnosed with stage IV kidney cancer, he was told he had only months to live. After having the kidney removed, he connected with Intermountain Precision Genomics for a personalized treatment process that landed on a targeted immunotherapy matching his DNA. His body responded quickly as tumors began shrinking and masses began disappearing.

Risk Scores Help Cut High-Risk Heart Failure Mortality by Nearly Half

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study of more than 6,100 heart-failure patients across Intermountain hospitals determined that patients benefit from a personalized risk score that helps guide a team-based, precision care approach. Under the process, patients at high risk for readmission or death are directed to advanced levels of care, resulting in a nearly 50 percent reduction in mortality rate for those patients.

Treatment at Home is Viable Option for Low-risk Blood Clots

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Based on Intermountain research, blood clot patients with low risk of complications can be given an outpatient treatment strategy they administer in their homes (oral anticoagulant or blood thinner, and/or blood thinner injections) with follow up at clinics. Not only is at-home blood clot care effective and less expensive, but patients who have that opportunity are more satisfied.

Simulation Center Teaches Clinicians from Across the Globe

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Simulation training at the Intermountain Healthcare Simulation Center aims to increase patient safety and improve clinical outcomes through hands-on scenarios that mimic real-life settings. A Simulation Facilitator Course held quarterly teaches people from all over the world to conduct their own simulations, and last year the center held its first course completely in Spanish for a delegation from South America.

Plans Announced for New Global DNA Database for Future Genetic Discoveries

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Intermountain researchers launched an effort in 2018 to build a new worldwide DNA database of genetic test results and electronic health histories called the GeneRosity Registry. With a robust database, researchers from around the world will be able to access data in the registry to find genetic codes that determine who’s at risk of developing genetic health problems.