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Posts Tagged ‘IHC’

How Intermountain Healthcare Improved Treatment of Pneumonia

by admin on: June 6th, 2011

Intermountain Healthcare (IHC) is a non-profit healthcare system with hospitals located in Utah and Idaho. The accolades for IHC have ranged from praise from President Obama to recognition both nationally and internationally as being a leader in improving the quality of healthcare for their patients.

In order to accomplish the improvements at IHC, in 2005-2006, the entire system adapted integrated care delivery protocols in a number of areas. Here, the focus will be on the treatment of cases of pneumonia. Fifteen or so years ago, there were over 60 different antibiotic regimens that were prescribed by physicians when treating cases of pneumonia. At IHC, a team was assigned the task of improving clinical care and decreasing the cost of treating the ailment.

One belief at IHC was to simplify the process (reduce the number of options for treating pneumonia) and obtain better compliance from the staff regarding therapy. IHC???s goal was to have one antibiotic combination that could be standardized across the IHC hospital system.

The problem IHC faced was that there was little guidance provided by medical literature as to what antibiotic combination was optimal. After much research, a decision was made to use a generic antibiotic ??? doxycycline ??? as the recommended drug for treating mild cases of pneumonia. For treating moderate pneumonia, oral doxycycline or azithromycin were administered in combination with ceftriazone.

The IHC continued to collect data and observe patient results, as a patient???s optimal treatment strategy depends upon the severity of the patient???s disease. Over time, compliance rates for treatment increased and the best practices for treating pneumonia expanded to include specified treatments for mild, moderate and severe pneumonia.

Taken together, it is possible to attribute the increase in physician compliance (adoption of best practices) as well as simplifying to task of physicians (a ???standardized” medicine) as practices which lead to improved patient outcomes at IHC hospitals.