The publication showcased three areas of focus in Dr. Harrison’s Intermountain 2017 presentation.
The Cost Curve
Cost concerns in this turbulent healthcare environment right now have been nationally covered with every health system. Intermountain has long been working to address this situation that resides between care and costs.
Healthcare Dive illustrated how Intermountain utilized the reduction in costs through supply costs, cutting waste in spending, and reducing redundancies in visits. The article focused on Intermountain’s approach to standardizing care through a continuous improvement model and how that contributed to bending the cost curve.
"Business is challenging right now and many systems are stressed and many, like we are, are really paying attention to how we run our business, maybe in a way like we've never done before," said Dr. Harrison in the article.
The Telemedicine Initiative
Intermountain has grown a vast telehealth network. There’s Connect Care – where anyone can connect with a provider 24 hours a day to get minor illnesses checked out. Also, the healthcare system has several other telemedicine services that connect doctors to doctors and rural areas to urban care.
“The system has saved over 50 helicopter rides through a program in the St. George region (somewhat remote from Salt Lake City) where children with mild to moderate head injuries get a distance consult from an emergency medicine physician and a neurosurgeon where their films are read remotely to decide if a patient needs to be transferred,” from the article.
Being involved in the health of the community is not simply being available when someone gets sick. Instead, Dr. Harrison said, it should involve building up a community’s health to stay away from chronic diseases.
"We want to create the healthiest communities with healthcare at the lowest per capita cost at Intermountain and the only way to do that is by getting upstream with chronic disease," Dr. Harrison said in the article.
The entire article can be found on Healthcare Dive’s website.