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Harvard Business School Case Study - Intermountain Essay

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Intermountain Healthcare Case Study
Gina L. Turley
Northwestern University

In the Harvard Business School case study of Intermountain Health Care (IHC), we learned about the efforts made by IHC to adopt a new strategy for managing health care delivery that is focused on improving care quality while simultaneously saving money. Beginning in 1986 as a series of experiments tying cost outcomes to traditional clinical trials, IHC’s approach to delivering care became known as “Clinical Integration” which “referred to both an organizational structure and a set of tools” (Bohmer, 2002). The organizational structure required a departure from the traditional administrative management model to one that “involved administrative and medical
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Building upon the knowledge gained in its previous attempts, over the next several years, IHC went about creating the infrastructure necessary to support such a model. IHC reorganized its management teams to include “a clinical administrative structure to be the clinical counterpart of the administrative structure at each level of the organization” (Bohmer, 2002). Guidance Councils (consisting of a physician leader and nurse manager) were formed for each clinical program and were responsible for coordinating program goals, management strategies and data collection across the system. Within the Guidance Councils were interdisciplinary Development Teams who identified “the key work processes and medical conditions for which protocols should be developed”, then created, implemented and refined said protocols (Bohmer, 2002). This was made possible by engaging practicing physicians (who were wisely reimbursed for their time) in the process, which gave them both the direct experience of the systems they created (be it paper or computer) and a provided feedback loop within the clinical community. Furthermore, IHC created a culture around process improvement, organizing “everything around value-added (front line) work processes” while offering “extensive training in clinical process improvement” as well as operational process improvement (Clark, 2010).

At the beginning of this case study, it was
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