Population and Public Health

Intermountain Healthcare: Infectious Diseases Telehealth and Tele-Antimicrobial Stewardship Program

Medical professional entering data onto a tablet.

Intermountain Healthcare is an internationally recognized, integrated, not-for-profit health system based in Salt Lake City, Utah, (USA) with 33 Hospitals, (includes „virtual“ hospital), 385 Ambulatory Care Centers (clinics), approximately 3,900 employed physicians and advanced practice providers, and a health insurance company, Select Health, which covers more than 1.2 million lives. Intermountain is widely recognized as one of the premier healthcare systems in the United States and as a leader in transforming healthcare through high-quality clinical outcomes and efficient healthcare delivery at a sustainable cost. 

Challenges presented in this case study:

  • Infections are common across all healthcare settings and associated with significant morbidity, mortality, and healthcare costs, particularly if not managed in a clinically appropriate manner.
  • Much of the antibiotic use (worldwide and particularly so in the United States) to treat these infections is either unnecessary or inappropriate; Studies consistently show up to 50% of antibiotic use in the inpatient and outpatient clinical settings, and up to 75% in long-term care settings, are not necessary.

A quote from an Intermountain Healthcare executive: “An integrated ID/AS Telehealth team that is centrally supported by clinical and digital care experts, using centralized data surveillance, monitoring and clinical outcome data, has maximized our ability to provide timely, vital ID care to a much larger population of healthcare providers and their patients, while eliminating the healthcare access inequities associated with rural and small communities in our region.” 

One sentence that encapsulates the experience as a whole:  This program demonstrates the importance of closely integrating individuals and processes across clinical and information system/digital care disciplines to provide the highest quality subspecialty care to our geographically disadvantaged communities, care providers, and individuals.”