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Intermountain Develops FHIR-Based Platform for Clinical Decision Support

The new FHIR-based tool will combine various solutions, including the Intermountain ePneumonia app, for clinical decision support.

Intermountain Health informaticists have developed and implemented a FHIR-based platform that hosts tools to help providers use evidence-based medicine, algorithms, and artificial intelligence (AI) apps for clinical decision support (CDS).

“This advanced approach to using data builds on the strong culture of innovation we foster at Intermountain Health,” Craig Richardville, chief digital and information officer at Intermountain Health, said in a public statement.

“Patient care is often complex and very personal,” Richardville noted. “This gives providers another tool to help them give patients the best, individualized care possible and helps ensure the right decision is being made at the right time.”

The first app Intermountain Health is using on the platform is an updated version of its ePneumonia app, which was first used in 2011.

The app aims to aid emergency department clinicians in enhancing the diagnosis and treatment of pneumonia patients at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah.

A series of studies in peer-reviewed papers have shown that the app has helped improve patient care.

“In the studies, we demonstrated a 36 percent relative decrease in 30-day mortality for pneumonia patients, which is more than 100 lives saved annually,” said Nathan Dean, MD, section chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Intermountain Medical Center.

“We observed a 17 percent increase in outpatient disposition from the emergency department and increased the use of antibiotic best practices,” added Dean, who served as principal investigator of the studies.

Intermountain has other CDS apps focused on medical specialties and diagnoses that will also run on the new platform.

Eventually, every Intermountain Health hospital or urgent care in seven states will be able to access the platform and future apps, Richardville said.

The FHIR-based platform allows clinicians to securely read from and write directly to the EHR in real time, and it can be used across major EHR vendors.  

“The platform has the capability to effectively perform and represent complex clinical processes and enables more rapid development of both clinical and business workflows,” said Kathryn Kuttler, PhD, FAMIA, advanced decision support director at Intermountain Health. “This will help create a more seamless experience for patients.”

According to Diego Ize-Ludlow, MD, chief health information officer at Intermountain Health, the platform is helping advance value-based care delivery.

“At Intermountain, we have always innovated, and we are ahead in many ways, especially in the transition to value-based care,” he said.

“This novel platform and the ePneumonia app are both tools that really align with what we’re doing generally in value-based care: to diagnose people earlier, improve patient safety and quality of care, with the simultaneous goal to reduce healthcare costs,” Ize-Ludlow added.

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