New affiliation agreement lays out framework for how the two hospitals will collaborate to ensure residents of American Falls, Idaho, and surrounding communities have access to specialists from one of the country’s top academic medical centers.
Officials from Power County Hospital District today announced a new partnership with Salt Lake City-based University of Utah Health Care that will extend the resources of a premier academic medical center to American Falls and the surrounding communities. The agreement formalizes a strong relationship of collaboration between the two health care providers.
The agreement sets the stage for Power County to provide improved patient access for medical specialties like burn care through TeleHealth, the use of technology to deliver health care. TeleHealth will allow patients at Power County Hospital to access specialty care from physicians at University of Utah Health Care via videoconferencing, phone, and other means of Telecommunication. It also allows Power County Hospital physicians to discuss patient treatments and diagnoses with the team at University of Utah Health Care so that patients do not have to travel to Salt Lake City unless absolutely necessary. Leadership is exploring other opportunities for Telehealth services as needed in the community.
University of Utah Health Care officials are optimistic that the partnership will position both organizations for success in a rapidly evolving health care environment. “Inherent in our mission as a teaching hospital is our responsibility to share clinical best practices, research advances, and provide our community partners with the educational resources we’ve developed as a university,” said Ted Kimball, M.D., director of TeleHealth Services at University of Utah Health Care. “We want to be a resource to improve the health and well-being of residents across the West and we can now accomplish that through the use of TeleHealth services.”
The agreement also offers Power County the opportunity to benefit from the work the University of Utah is doing around staff development and business efficiency. This partnership will allow Power County to take advantage of both the educational opportunities and operating efficiencies associated with a large, academic medical center.
Gordon Crabtree, interim CEO of University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics, says the partnership makes sense because both organizations share a commitment to providing high quality care. “We recognize that no one wants to leave his or her community when they get sick. The goal of this partnership is to enhance Power County Hospital District’s ability to serve the residents in the region with high quality care and better access to specialty care not currently available,” he said.
Power County Hospital Administrator, Dallas Clinger says “We are excited for the opportunity to partner with the University of Utah and the new technology it will provide our facility. This will save patients and families the added expense of going to Salt Lake for care that they can now receive locally. Our community will certainly benefit from this partnership.”
A open house for the event was held on Monday, September 26th at the Power County Hospital with leadership from UUHC and Power County Hospital to mark the occasion and future partnership.