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Utah Models and Innovations

These stories feature model programs and successful rural projects that can serve as a source of ideas. Some of the projects or programs may no longer be active. Read about the criteria and evidence-base for programs included.

Intermountain Healthcare TeleHealth Services
Updated/reviewed October 2017
  • Need: An aging population, shortage of medical providers, and reforms in reimbursement systems were just some of the challenges for rural areas recognized by Intermountain Healthcare.
  • Intervention: In response, they’ve developed an Intermountain TeleHealth Services strategy to provide consultation and emergency medical help electronically for patients and clinicians in both urban and remote areas.
  • Results: Intermountain has installed video and audio conferencing platforms in over 1,200 locations. To date, mortality rates and length of hospital stays have decreased, and patient retention has increased.
Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program (FVRx)
Updated/reviewed April 2017
  • Need: A tangible way for providers to increase patients' access to affordable healthy food.
  • Intervention: With the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program, providers prescribe vouchers for patients to redeem for fruits and vegetables at local healthy food retailers.
  • Results: Over 10,000 people have received FVRx prescriptions in rural and urban areas across 10 states.
Hope Squad
Added March 2017
  • Need: To reduce youth suicide rates in Utah.
  • Intervention: Hope Squad is a statewide program that trains youth to look after their classmates and refer those with suicidal thoughts or other mental health concerns to adult advisors.
  • Results: Surveys indicate that Hope Squad members increase and retain their knowledge of suicide and increase help-seeking behaviors after completing training.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Utah Rural Independent Hospital Network
Updated/reviewed March 2017
  • Need: To help ensure the viability of and improve quality at 9 rural, independent hospitals serving 11 Utah counties.
  • Intervention: A network organization was created to allow member hospitals to communicate, network, and undertake projects together.
  • Results: Members took advantage of cost savings, education, and networking opportunities through group projects and programs.
Western Healthcare Alliance Laboratory Services Network
Updated/reviewed November 2016
  • Need: Lack of efficiency for medical laboratory testing for rural western Colorado and Utah hospitals.
  • Intervention: A network that provides education, operations improvement consulting, best practices, and group contracting with discounted services for hospital laboratories.
  • Results: Lower laboratory testing costs with superior quality, greater efficiencies, and improved turnaround times leading to increased quality of healthcare.

Last Updated: 10/5/2017