French delegation visits Utah hospitals

French delegation visits hospitals in Southern Utah, St. George, Utah, August 2013 | Photo courtesy of Intermountain Healthcare

ST. GEORGE – The most recent government leaders to come to Intermountain Healthcare to see how Intermountain provides high-quality healthcare for the lowest sustainable costs weren’t from Washington D.C. — they were from France. Three senior leaders from France’s national healthcare system came to Utah this summer to visit Intermountain and study the state’s public and private healthcare delivery system.

1075252_10201648467044247_627280478_nMuch like the U.S., France is struggling to increase equal access to care, control quickly rising healthcare costs, and improve quality. They’re also searching for ways to reduce waste and over-utilization, improve patient safety, and better serve an aging population. These senior leaders visited Utah and Intermountain because Utah has both excellent quality care and the lowest healthcare costs in America — and Intermountain has the lowest costs in Utah.

Pascal Briot, a member of Intermountain Healthcare’s Institute for Healthcare Delivery Research and a native of France, served as a guide for the delegation during their time in Utah. The group visited five Intermountain hospitals:  Dixie Regional, Valley View, Garfield, McKay-Dee, and Primary Children’s hospitals. They also met with leaders from SelectHealth and Intermountain’s central office; went to the governor’s office; the University of Utah Hospital; and the VA Hospital. The French delegation expressed regard for:

  • The integration of Intermountain’s system and the continuum of care for patients, including wellness initiatives (the LiVe Well Center).
  • Intermountain’s role in public health in Utah. They were impressed with how Intermountain works well with the University of Utah and other healthcare systems to help all Utahns access quality healthcare no matter where they live.
  • The coordination between insurance and healthcare providers. They were impressed by the collaborative model Intermountain and SelectHealth have developed.
  • Healthcare changes are coming from the inside out. They saw that Utah appears to be in the midst of building a very good population management system and Intermountain and other systems in the state are driving the change. It’s the complete opposite in France, where the government is trying to force the industry to change — with limited success.
  • Excellent facilities and services, even in smaller hospitals. They were especially impressed by Valley View’s beautiful cancer center.
  • The flow of patient care. They liked how patients can easily access services from centralized waiting areas instead of getting lost in a maze of corridors. Patient care areas didn’t feel overly crowded or chaotic. The staff didn’t appear overwhelmed and seemed to have time to provide unrushed quality care to each patient. They said the feeling was far less stressful than what they’re used to in France.
  • At Dixie Regional they were very interested in efforts to decrease physician practice variation, manage staffing, and reduce costs per case. They were also interested in Intermountain’s electronic medical record system.

“We’re grateful for the opportunity we had to come to Utah,” said Dr. Pierre-Henri Bréchat, the leader of the French delegation. “We’d be very delighted to develop future partnership projects with Intermountain Healthcare.”

Submitted by: Intermountain Healthcare Southwest Region

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1 Comment

  • DoubleTap August 16, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Socialist Healthcare at its finest.

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