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What If Restaurants Behaved Like Healthcare?

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, USA, April 28, 2017 / -- Would you tolerate a restaurant handing you three bills for your dinner? How about if the waiter asked several times if you have allergies? That is the point that Intermountain Healthcare is trying to make in a new video that highlights the customer experience differences between a medical office and an eatery.

The video, titled “If Restaurants Behaved Like Healthcare,” takes a humorous approach about the restaurant/medical office switch to show the absurdity of the event with the customer’s outrage. Yet, through the humor, the message rings true to how patients should be treated.

“I think it is enlightening for Intermountain to be able to call that out and say look at how we treat our patients in regards to how they might be treated in a restaurant,” said Katy Jo Stevens, patient experience director at Intermountain. “What would that actually look like?”

There are indispensable needs everyone has needed as a patient. While some traits have not changed over time, the same patient/caregiver interaction may not be the same as that of thirty years ago.

“Patients have always needed our compassion and our understanding, and our going beyond just the clinical care. They expect that,” Stevens said. “We said we have to involve patients more. We have to partner with them more. We have to listen to them more.”

Intermountain has been working on improving the ever-changing patient experience for years. Current efforts include inviting patients and families into advisory boards for improvement ideas. Changes from surveys and the advisory boards can present large to small ideas, but effective changes.

One major problem that most patients who feel, and highlighted in the restaurant video, is when the bill arrives – or rather several bills – all at once or even months apart. Intermountain is working to address the billing concerns. One such example is if you receive service and have insurance through Intermountain’s SelectHealth insurance plan, Intermountain and SelectHealth will combine statements in the same envelope. This helps reduce bill confusion and also is environmentally friendly.

The “If Restaurants Behaved Like Healthcare” video can be found on Intermountain Healthcare’s YouTube page.

Intermountain Healthcare is a not-for-profit system of 22 hospitals, 180 clinics, a Medical Group with about 1,500 employed physicians and advanced practitioners, a health plans group called SelectHealth, and other medical services. Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare through high quality and sustainable costs. For more information about Intermountain, visit

Daron Cowley
Intermountain Healthcare
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