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Intermountain Health Adds AI, Interoperability to CDS Platform

Analysis  |  By Eric Wicklund  
   April 24, 2023

The health system has upgraded its clinical decision support technology to give care providers on-demand, FHIR-enabled access to important data at the point of care.

Intermountain Health has launched a new, FHIR-enabled tech platform aimed at giving its care providers instant access to clinical decision support (CDS) resources through digital health apps.

The platform highlights the Salt Lake City-based health system's efforts to create an interoperable platform that uses AI to give providers real-time information, including entering and pulling data from the EHR, events, and imaging and diagnostic services.

The EHR capabilities are important—and intriguing. By building on a Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) framework and operating outside of any one EHR, users are able to securely read from and write into many different medical record platforms in real-time.

“This advanced approach to using data builds on the strong culture of innovation we foster at Intermountain Health," Craig Richardville, Intermountain's chief digital and information officer, said in a press release. "Patient care is often complex and very personal. 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 platform has the capability to effectively perform and represent complex clinical processes and enables more rapid development of both clinical and business workflows," added Kathryn Kuttler, PhD, FAMIA, the health system's advanced decision support director. "This will help create a more seamless experience for patients."

The announcement touches on a number of themes at last week's Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) annual conference and exhibition in Chicago: Interoperability, AI, and the development of healthcare services outside the hospital setting. With AI technology that sorts through and identifies relevant data to put at a provider's fingertips, the platform enables care teams at any location within the 33-hospital network to grab the information they need to support and improve patient care.

The health system is using this platform to support an updated version of its ePneumonia app, which was launched in 2011 and is now used in Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah, to help emergency department personnel identify and treat patients dealing with pneumonia. Among other things, the app determines a patient's likelihood of having pneumonia and its severity and recommends appropriate clinical treatments, including whether the patient should be hospitalized.

Officials say the app has facilitated quicker diagnosis and treatment.

“In the studies, we demonstrated a 36% relative decrease in 30-day mortality for pneumonia patients, which is more than 100 lives saved annually," Nathan Dean, MD, section chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Intermountain Medical Center and principal investigator of the studies, said in the press release. "We observed [a] 17% increase in outpatient disposition from the emergency department and increased the use of antibiotic best practices."

“This ePneumonia app is one of the most complicated apps to build, as there are more than 50 data elements that go into diagnosis, assessment of illness severity, and decision making for patients with pneumonia,” he added. “Published pneumonia care guidelines have been historically difficult to follow at the bedside and have a complex workflow.”

Officials say they'll soon expand use of this app to other EDs within the health system, and they'll be launching other apps with these capabilities as well.

Eric Wicklund is the associate content manager and senior editor for Innovation, Technology, Telehealth, Supply Chain and Pharma for HealthLeaders.


Intermountain Health has upgraded its clinical decision support platform to include AI algorithms and FHIR-enabled search-and-enter capabilities.

Those tools enable providers to access the latest and most valuable data, as well as pulling information from and writing into a number of EHR platforms, through a digital health app.

The platform now supports the health system's ePneumonia app and has been shown to improve clinical treatment and outcomes, even saving lives.

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