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Intermountain Medical Center helping Utahns breath better

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MURRAY – (Intermountain Medical Center) – For the first time in its 10-year-history, Intermountain Medical Center is ranked by U.S. News as one of America’s Best Hospitals in the publication’s 28th annual rankings of the nation’s top healthcare facilities that were released this morning. 

The Pulmonology Program at Intermountain Medical Center was ranked as the 48th top pulmonary program in the nation for outstanding pulmonary and respiratory care.


Intermountain Medical Center was also ranked for providing high-performing services for diabetes and endocrinology care, nephrology care and urology care. 


“This is great recognition for our team of physicians and caregivers in the Pulmonary Program and throughout the Intermountain Medical Center campus,” says Intermountain Medical Center administrator Joe Mott. “This is further recognition of our commitment to providing the very best care possible to our patients.” 


The U.S. News rankings and ratings compare more than 4,500 medical centers nationwide in 25 specialties, procedures and conditions. The U.S. News methodologies in most areas of care are based largely on objective measures such as risk-adjusted survival and readmission rates, volume, technology, patient experience, patient safety, quality of nursing, and reputation. 


“We provide data that patients can use to help them make informed decisions about where to receive surgical or medical care,” said Ben Harder, managing editor and chief of health analysis at U.S. News. “We know outcomes matter most, which is why U.S. News is committed to publishing as much data as possible on patient outcomes.”

Former long time Mayor of Herriman, James Crane, was diagnosed with lung disease several years ago.
“I had a lung disease called interstitual lung disease. The demand for oxygen seems to increase and continues to increase.”
Crane’s condition involves scaring of the lung that can be caused by exposure to hazardous material. But in some cases such as in Crane’s, doctors don’t quite know the cause of it and can’t necessarily point to his short stint mining copper during his college years.
Crane, “we would dry the copper and sometimes there would be copper dust.”

Crane’s condition is not curable but he believes he’s getting the best possible care.
“I’m grateful to live in an area where we have competent, contemporary and current medical treatment.”
What makes Intermountain Medical Center’s Pulmonology service so effective? Our pulmonology program is known for its singular focus on excellent patient care – treating some of the most complex pulmonary patients, often with other complications – combined with a research program that focuses on clinical outcomes. 


The service’s clinical expertise is bolstered by a robust research focus, a patient-centered culture, and collaboration with Intermountain Medical Center’s other high-acuity services, including cardiology, thrombosis, thoracic surgery, oncology, and radiology. 


As a result, the hospital’s high-acuity patients are evaluated thoroughly and quickly by multi-disciplinary teams who focus on the overall care of each patient, not just on a singular disease. 


“Often, our patients have had a long road of symptoms and diagnoses before they see us, and our teamwork with our multidisciplinary colleagues ensures we treat each patient with the best current evidence, and more importantly, with the most empathy,” says Denitza Blagev, MD, director of the Schmidt Chest Clinic and a pulmonologist at Intermountain Medical Center. 


Other strengths of the Intermountain Medical Center Pulmonary Service: 

  • The service’s staff includes nationally respected leaders in clinical outcomes research who often collaborate with colleagues in hospitals around the nation.  
  • The service has implemented digital pneumonia protocols designed to quickly identify patients with pneumonia and treat them with the best evidence-based guidelines.  
  • The integrated lung cancer screening program (a collaborative effort between oncology, radiology, and pulmonary) boasts excellent outcomes and excellent efficiency by following protocols to ensure that only patients who’d benefit from lung cancer screening are screened and counseled appropriately. 
  • The program is a leader in pulmonary hypertension diagnosis and treatment.
  • The service sponsors a sub-specialized diffuse parenchymal lung disease program, in which clinicians excel at diagnosing and treating a variety of interstitial lung diseases.  
  • The service’s chronic obstructive pulmonary disease program offers some of the best outcome rates in the nation.
  • Intermountain Medical Center’s pulmonary function testing laboratory is a national leader in clinical quality and has developed electronic decision-support tools to enhance the diagnoses of COPD patients.  
  • The Pulmonology team is constantly developing new ways to improve and deliver care. Innovations include advances in telehealth visits and remote patient monitoring and research on how air quality affects patients, whether indoor air quality monitors help reduce symptoms for high-risk patients during inversions, and using electronic medical records to identify and treat high-risk patients. 

“The commitment of our clinicians to our patients is at the center of all we do — including our research and teaching,” says Dr. Blagev. “We help train medical students, residents, and pulmonary and critical care fellows from the University of Utah so we can share our expertise to train the next generation of physicians.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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