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Society of Hospital Medicine Honors Intermountain Healthcare with 2021 Award of Excellence: Teamwork in Quality Improvement

May 18, 2021

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Representing the fastest-growing specialty in modern healthcare, the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) is the leading medical society for hospitalists and their patients.

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Reimagined Leadership Structure Improves Communication Across 23-Hospital Network, Ensuring Crisis-Ready Operations During COVID-19 Pandemic

The Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) recently announced the recipients of its 2021 Awards of Excellence, honoring hospitalists who exemplify hospital medicine best practices in areas such as clinical leadership, teaching, teamwork, research, and humanitarian services, among others.

“Hospitalists stepped up in new ways to help their patients and their institutions overcome intense challenges over the past year,” notes Eric E. Howell, MD, MHM, Chief Executive Officer of the Society of Hospital Medicine. “Our Awards of Excellence winners truly embody the innovative spirit and leadership prowess that have become hallmarks of hospitalists, and we are proud to recognize them with this distinguished honor.”

Intermountain Healthcare is this year’s recipient in the “Teamwork in Quality Improvement” category. The Intermountain team recently reimagined their leadership structure with an integrated approach focused on developing and implementing common goals across their 23-hospital healthcare system, which was previously divided into regions. With key focus areas including communication, best practices, and goal setting, this structure has helped to combat former fragmentation struggles by creating an environment that provides a consistent high-level care experience regardless of the treatment center a patient selects.

With this reorganization came improved structure allowing for a unique team-based approach while still promoting clear communication lines across the 23 hospitals. This innovative Med/Surg Operations Lane allowed for flexible adaptation to the rapidly changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Intermountain Healthcare utilized this new framework to ensure crisis-ready operations by defining best practices through real-time literature review and teaming with ED, ICU, and Nursing to create COVID-19 workflows, order sets, and dashboards. The team addressed capacity issues through daily system-wide huddles to facilitate load leveling between hospitals, use of telehealth for early discharge to remote patient monitoring and admission to Intermountain at Home, which preserved ability to deliver critical surgical services.

Intermountain Healthcare is a not-for-profit health system based in Salt Lake City and serves the healthcare needs of patients primarily in Utah, Idaho, and Nevada.

Awards of Excellence winners were recognized at SHM’s annual conference, SHM Converge, which was held virtually from May 3-7, 2021. For more information on SHM’s Awards of Excellence, visit