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Intermountain Healthcare program includes loved ones in care team

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MURRAY, Utah, (NEWS4UTAH) — A voluntary program spearheaded by Intermountain Healthcare allows family members of hospitalized patients to participate in their care. Loved ones become part of the care team and they help cut readmission rates by more than half, according to a new study on Intermountain’s ‘Partners in Healing’ program.

“your numbers look okay.”

Rebecca Gardner is not a certified nurse. But Quincy’s mother.
Rebecca is taking part in Intermountain Healthcare’s ‘Partners in Healing.’ She’s learning how to take care of her son and building on the skills she’ll need once Quincy goes home.

Gardner, mother, “I will be helping out at the hospital and at home when he’s discharged.”

Michelle Van De Graaf, RN, Intermountain Medical Center, “The biggest thing we do it for is to help prepare them for discharge so when they go home they’ve had a chance to work as a partner and know how to do those cares at home.”

Michelle Van De Graaf began the program at Intermountain Medical Center 10 years ago after a stint in the Peace Corps.

“I was on this tiny island, the country, Republic of Kiribati (pronounced kitty’ bas,) and there, there was only one nurse. What I noticed was that they went home and they knew what to do to continue the care.”

Michelle thought it made sense to bring the same concept to Intermountain Medical Center.

Joey Camaliche, “I was thrilled to help out and to be included in everything that was happening to her.”

Joey Camaliche was one of the first to go through the program, a decade ago, when his wife went into surgery for a rare lung cancer disease.
Nola Camaliche, Patient, “knowing he was there and he heard everything and he’d been a part of my care and when we got home there would be the same quality care because he knew what to do.”

In recent findings, researchers found a 65% drop in the readmission rate 30 days out from surgery, for families who participated in the Partners in Healing program.
Tammy Richards, Assistant VP for Patient and Clinical Engagement at Intermountain Healthcare, “it matters when they go home. When they go home they have that confidence and competence to care for their loved one.”
Intermountain Healthcare hopes to implement the program at all of their 22 hospitals.
The study showed roughly 95% of participants say they’d recommend the program.  The study was published in the February issue of the medical journal, CHEST.

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