Stanford Medicine and Intermountain Healthcare to collaborate on research, patient care, training

The five-year agreement between the two organizations involves clinical research in heart disease, cancer and other conditions, as well as methods to improve health delivery and clinician training.

Stanford Medicine and Intermountain Healthcare, an integrated health-care system based in Utah, have formed a new collaboration to support innovative projects in research, patient care and medical education, it was announced today.

As a first part of the effort, Intermountain will provide a $1.25 million grant to Stanford Medicine to support clinical research projects, particularly in the areas of heart disease and cancer, as well as novel methods to improve health-care delivery and clinician training.

The Stanford School of Medicine will provide $1.25 million to match the grant to bring total research funds to $2.5 million. In addition, Intermountain will commit another $1.25 million for operational expenses and additional projects, for a total $3.75 million investment by the two institutions across five years.

Stanford already has a number of research and educational collaborations under way with Intermountain and has appointed several Intermountain physicians to Stanford’s clinical faculty.

“Intermountain Healthcare is an internationally respected delivery system that has achieved consistently excellent patient outcomes,” said Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the Stanford School of Medicine. “They have done this through a long-term investment in sophisticated medical information systems and systemwide programs that advance consistent use of best practices that produce excellent clinical outcomes at sustainable pricing for patients and payers. We are very pleased to embark on an even closer relationship with Intermountain that will be strengthened in the years ahead, for the benefit of our patients and the physicians we are training for the future.”

“We will work with colleagues at Stanford to more rapidly assess new treatment modalities and move these into the care of our patients,” said Charles Sorenson, MD, president and CEO of Intermountain Healthcare. “We expect more research, collaborative studies and teaching relationships will follow in the near future.”

Improving care, curbing costs

Researchers at Stanford and Intermountain already are working together on several projects, including research in cancer genomics, clinical studies of atrial fibrillation and cognitive function, and studies in applied clinical informatics. In addition, Intermountain has served as a pilot site for a Stanford project on “ambulatory care ICUs,” a new form of outpatient care to prevent costly and dangerous health crises among patients with severe, chronic illnesses. The project is led by Arnold Milstein, MD, director of Stanford’s Clinical Excellence Research Center, who serves on the board of Intermountain.

Our collaboration will lead to higher-quality and improved outcomes for both Stanford and Intermountain patients.

Clinician-researchers at the two institutions are also sharing work on other methods to improve care, such as expanded use of clinical pathways, which are science-based guidelines that help reduce variability in care and improve patient outcomes. Intermountain, a longtime pacesetter in educating health-care leaders about these concepts and methodologies, has collaborated in establishing a similar program (Clinical Effectiveness Leadership Training) at Stanford. Other proposed initiatives include trainee exchanges, in which residents and fellows will do rotations at collaborating institutions, and sharing approaches to reduce blood utilization.

“The expansion and deepening of our relationship with Intermountain will help speed the development of new approaches and processes that should have direct, positive impacts on the delivery of patient care,” said Mariann Byerwalter, interim president and CEO of Stanford Health Care. “Our collaboration will lead to higher-quality and improved outcomes for both Stanford and Intermountain patients, and will be translated into models that can be adopted by health-care organizations across the country and around the world.”



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