Here’s an example of the benefits of healthy living: the best way to treat a heart attack. Traditionally, we’ve improved healthcare by focusing on better ways to deliver clinical services. For example, the evidence may show a better way to treat a heart attack that delivers better clinical outcomes and fewer complications — and because it reduces complications, following that protocol reduces costs. That’s good healthcare. But focusing on health is an even better option — so people avoid the heart attack in the first place. That’s how we can dramatically improve the health of the people in the communities we serve, not just the healthcare we provide to patients who come to our clinics and hospitals.
We at Intermountain believe our focus needs to increase on preventive care and healthy lifestyles — and the best way to encourage that is to work to get the public and our patients engaged in living well. Intermountain has always emphasized preventive medicine, and we’re increasing that focus and expanding our efforts to include not just our patients and plan members, but all the members of the community.
That’s why Intermountain’s “LiVe Well” initiative covers everyone who lives in all the communities we serve. And it covers all kinds of care: Mental, emotional, and physical health. At Intermountain, we believe the best patient care involves the care of the whole person.
Helping people live well is really the best thing we can do for the people we serve. It’s like doing preventive maintenance on your car. Everyone would rather change the oil and check the fluids instead of breaking down on the side of the road — and doing that is a lot easier as long as you know what you need to do. Plus an oil change every now and then is a lot cheaper than an engine overhaul.
So, preventive care, for cars and people, makes everyone happier and more productive, and it’s less expensive. Lower costs mean more people can access the healthcare they need.
Here are four examples of how Intermountain is engaging patients in maintaining and improving their health:
1. Care management. Primary care physicians and care managers are available to provide more support for patients and make sure they receive the right care, in the right setting, at the right time, by the right providers.
2. Shared Decision-Making. Web-based tools help patients learn more about their conditions and treatment options. Patients are more informed and involved in care choices.
3. Patient Education. Intermountain teams have streamlined and improved patient education materials.
4. Digital and mobile TOOLS are giving patients, health plan members, and consumers more choices in how they interact with Intermountain. The tools include mobile apps (such as Intermountain's new Health Hub app), enhanced website access and content, social media, Teleservices, and other resources.