The way in which we think about equity, here at Intermountain is wholistic and incorporates four population groups: our caregivers, our patients, our members and our community. Below is a brief list of the important work taking place in each group.
Achieving health equity requires ongoing efforts to identify and address obstacles to health. It also involves understanding and addressing the social determinants of health that serve as drivers of overall health. Equity focuses on achieving fair and consistent outcomes across cultural and identity-based demographics for individuals and groups.
We are taking several steps to bring equity into our work in the communities we serve, including:
- Actively engaging in 12 equity chambers of commerce across Utah, Nevada, and Idaho. We collaborate with these chambers through board membership and active volunteer participation of our workforce. In addition, we provide funding for equity-related chamber efforts and offer other forms of leadership and support to strengthen their growth.
- Established an equitable insurance coverage committee and developed policy recommendations presented and accepted by the One Utah Roadmap. In addition, we supported and funded partners to increase insurance access for underserved individuals and developed white-label materials and resources for all partners to customize, use, and distribute. Through this work, we worked alongside partners to enroll 12,000 individuals in Medicaid, CHIP, and the marketplace.
- Developed training materials and presented to more than 52 external partners around access, financial assistance, and Connect Care as an affordable telehealth option.
- Developed and prepared our Community Health Needs Assessment process for community input meetings and final preparation of 2022 Community Heath Needs Assessment aims. In addition, we created a plan to include input in rural areas, in Spanish, and from underrepresented groups in a coordinated effort with community partners to address equity in the process and results.
The Office of Equity and Inclusion works hard on ensuring that Intermountain Healthcare is an equitable place of employment.
Recently, some of their efforts include:
- Intentional focus on hiring to better represent the communities that Intermountain serves.
- Education for our leaders and caregivers on building a more inclusive organization and team.
- Opportunities for career development through programs like PEAK.
Patient and Member Equity
Our Patient and Member Equity focus has been on ensuring every patient and member has access to communicate with their provider in a language they feel most comfortable. As such, Intermountain created a preferred language key performance indicator (KPI) to help guide, measure and track performance across the organization.
Our 2022 System Equity KPI goal was to have at least one interpreter documentation event in the medical record for every patient and member whose preferred language is something other than English during their visit or outreach to us.
The goal this year focused on inpatient units, surgical services, outpatients in a bed, inpatient billed as outpatients and patients in observation (emergency departments) in the Utah and Idaho markets and will be measured by what is documented under "Interpretation Type" field in iCentra. It also included our members who called into our member services center.
Proper documentation included utilizing specific fields in PowerChart or iView. All clinical caregivers working in iCentra have access to these fields and should be documenting after each interaction a patient or family with limited English proficiency (LEP).
Intermountain Healthcare takes reasonable steps to ensure that persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP), or physical and mental disabilities, including persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, have meaningful access and an equal opportunity to participate in our services, activities, programs and other benefits. We ensure meaningful communication with LEP patients and their authorized representatives by providing free interpretation services at all points of contact and during all hours of operation.
- Our teams have developed cultural sensitivity from being exposed to a diverse and multicultural patient population. Through this, they keep patients’ needs top-of-mind, and it comes naturally to them to seek the help of interpretation services. They are also great advocates for patients if providers are rushing a procedure, but the situation necessitates interpretation services.
- There is a sense of pride and honor that has been instilled in the culture that allows our caregivers to live their purpose in serving a linguistically diverse population.
- Cassia and LDS Hospital have strong utilization, and Sanpete and Sevier are at 100% with their preferred language KPI performance.
Our Chief Equity Officer, Tiffany Capeles, FACHE
Tiffany Capeles, Chief Equity Officer at Intermountain Healthcare. In this role, she leads the development and deployment of diversity, health equity, inclusion, and belonging related strategies across the enterprise.