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Intermountain Healthcare Study to Improve Patient Care and Lower Costs at Emergency Departments and Urgent Care Centers

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, USA, January 10, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ -- A team of Intermountain researchers, led by Todd Allen, MD, was recently awarded a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for approximately $300,000 to study the proportion, causes, and outcomes of emergency department and urgent care center visits at Intermountain. Researchers aim to identify potentially preventable events that lead to these visits — such as failures in outpatient care — which may help providers reduce how often people seek emergency care, and ultimately lead to improved care and lower costs.

By rapidly applying what is learned through evidence-based solutions, Intermountain intends to help patients seek care from the right place and receive high quality care at an affordable cost.

“It’s only through proper accounting and classification of problems that we can discover solutions that improve patient care and deliver the best medical result at an affordable cost,” says Dr. Allen.

The study will include adults and children and will be conducted in emergency departments and urgent care centers across the Intermountain care delivery system. Clinical experts from Intermountain’s Clinical Programs, the Office of Research, and the Institute for Healthcare Delivery and Research will participate in the study.

The primary endpoint of the study will be the incidence rates of causes for failures in outpatient care leading to potentially avoidable emergency department and urgent care visits. The secondary endpoints will include:

• Disposition from the emergency departments and urgent care centers
• Length of stay for admitted patients
• A classification of the effects of the failure of outpatient care using categories similar to the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention (NCC MERP) method
• 30 and 90-day episode costs

This research initiative will result in three critical outputs:
1. Causes and effects of failures of outpatient care leading to potentially avoidable emergency department and urgent care center visits
2. Estimates of the proportion of emergency department and urgent care center visits that result from a failure of outpatient care, with a classification of the causes and outcomes
3. Measurements of the 30 and 90-day episode costs of emergency department and urgent care center visits associated with a failure of outpatient care beginning the day of the visit

Intermountain Healthcare is a Utah-based, not-for-profit system of 22 hospitals, 185 clinics, a Medical Group with about 1,500 employed physicians and advanced practitioners, a health plans group called SelectHealth, and other health services. With a mission of helping people live the healthiest lives possible®, Intermountain Healthcare is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare through high quality and sustainable costs. For more information visit intermountainhealthcare.org.

Daron Cowley
Intermountain Healthcare
801-442-2834
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