October 1, 2013
Continuous improvement in quality and productivity processes is essential for any business that wants to be profitable but more so for Health care organizations due to the constant changing nature of their practice. The philosophy of continuous improvement is captured in the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle proposed by W. Edwards Deming (Fitzsimmons et. Al., 2013). The three principles that form the foundation for Deming’s teaching are Customer satisfaction, Management by Facts, and Respect for people. Health care delivery must focus on satisfying patients’ needs and this principle must be incorporated into the mind of every employee of a healthcare organization. Scientific thinking (collecting and statistically analyzing data) must also be merged with administrative analysis before decisions are made by the quality improvement teams. For quality improvement to be established in an organization, there must be mutual respect amongst employees where everybody’s ideas on improving processes are solicited. By implementing these principles, the idea of “higher quality could lead to lower cost,” can be manifested. How well is Intermountain Health Care performing?
From the case study, intermountain Health care is performing very well. As of 2001, the intermountain healthcare (IHC) Health plan was the largest in Utah which covered about 460,000 individuals and a market share of 40%. The closest competitor being Blue Cross and Blue Shield, covered 425,000 individuals. IHC started with fifteen hospitals in 1975 and after 27 years grew it to 22 hospitals, 25 health centers and over 70 outpatient’s clinics all across Utah and Southeastern Idaho. IHC is a vertically integrated Health care organization that has won many top awards in the industry. In 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005, Intermountain Healthcare was ranked No. 1 (among nearly 600 evaluated) integrated healthcare systems in the U.S. by Modern Healthcare magazine and the Verispan research firm. The rankings measured efficiency, communication cost and quality of care. As of 2013, Intermountain Healthcare is internationally recognized, has a nonprofit system of 22 hospitals, a Medical Group with more than 185 physician clinics, and an affiliated health insurance company, SelectHealth. It currently has 33,000 employees serving patients and plan members in Utah and Southeastern Idaho. Below is a list of other awards that IHC has received as a system: Hospitals & Health Networks recognized Intermountain Healthcare as one of "Health Care's Most Wired 2013" in the nation. This was the fourteenth year Intermountain has been listed. Forbes magazine named Intermountain Healthcare to its list of "21 Most Admired Companies Making IT a Competitive Advantage" in 2013. American College of Medical Quality gave the "Institutional Quality Leadership Award" to Intermountain Healthcare, the sole recipient of this award in 2013, for Intermountain longstanding commitment to clinical quality programs and innovations in healthcare delivery. The Gallup Organization again presented Intermountain Healthcare with its Great Workplace Award for 2013 Intermountain Healthcare ranked No. 3 overall in the U.S. and No. 1 in the western U.S. on the 2012 list of the nation's Top 100 Integrated Health Systems compiled by IMS Health and Modern Healthcare magazine. National Research Corporation presented a 2012/2013 Consumer Choice Award to Intermountain Healthcare for its hospitals, clinics, and business units' having been selected by locally served consumers as having the best quality and image.
What is Intermountain’s approach to the management of health care delivery? Intermountain uses Clinical integration as its approach to healthcare delivery. This involves both an organizational restructuring as well as the use of different set of tools (mainly technological tools). With this approach of healthcare delivery, both the...