The University of Utah Medical Center is the Intermountain
West’s only academic healthcare system. It’s also the place where many in
eastern Idaho end up when they need specialty care.
It all comes down to
economics. An economist would call this supply and demand. A hospital administrator
would call this critical mass of patients. It basically means that you won’t
find a regional burn unit Driggs, or a level-1 trauma center in Arco anytime soon.
There simply isn’t enough demand to
warrant the cost of staffing units like these. But that doesn’t mean we don’t
Thanks to partnerships and collaboration agreements, we can
still receive treatment. One hospital that has had a lot of success with this
technique is Madison Memorial in Rexburg.
“We’ve got a healthcare system in this country that’s
designed around individual pockets of care that are disjointed, there’s
duplicated effort every time you turn around, and the patient often times is
not in the correct place for the correct care at the correct time,” said Dr. Mulvhill
University of Utah Medical Center. “And so finding ways to partner across
healthcare systems into an organized structure of delivery that gets the
patient to the right place at the right time for the right care is one of the
goals of these kinds of partnerships.”
Partnerships appear to be the future of healthcare as
providers look to bring their costs down.
“It’s been built here at great sacrifice,” said Madison County Commissioner Kimber
Ricks. “We have a history of sacrificing, growing, building and adapting to
what comes. It’s always been about innovation, collaboration, creativity, but today
more than ever that’s the case.”
Madison Memorial will still keep complete control over their
operations. This announcement simply formalizes the agreement between Madison
Memorial and the University of Utah Medical Center. It’s a relationship that
both parties say will be beneficial to everyone involved.
“I was impressed too when the nurses came down to supposedly
learn from us, it was amazing how much we learned from you,” said Dr. Entwistle, CEO University
of Utah Medical Center. “Because there’s a lot of things that you are doing in
the community that, necessarily our nurses becoming so myopic on certain
things, it was amazing how much they walked away with as well. And so there’s
really a mutual beneficial relationship across both organizations.”
This agreement will enhance Madison Memorial’s ability to
treat patients in their home community. To do this, they will use technology to
communicate with specialists at the University of Utah and this will cut down
on the amount of trips some patients have to make to Salt Lake City.
This innovative approach is expected to increase the amount of services that can be provided by
Madison Memorial and it should bring some of the costs down.
“That will trickle down to the major employers like BYU,” said DR. Gonzales, CEO of Madison Memorial
Hospital. “If that cost is controlled, then eventually it helps the benefit
costs that are going up for all of us.”
The hospitals in Driggs and Jackson both signed similar
agreements with the University of Utah. All of these hospitals are also partners with
ERMC in Idaho Falls.