October 24, 2017

Intermountain will overhaul its management structure

Daily Briefing

    Intermountain Healthcare CEO Marc Harrison on Thursday announced the system is reorganizing its management structure, Alex Kacik reports for Modern Healthcare.

    Salt Lake City-based Intermountain has 22 hospitals and employs 1,400 physicians. It also has an insurance plan.

    Details on new management structure

    According to Harrison, the system is replacing its geographically defined administrative regions with a system-wide structure that encompasses community care and specialty care divisions. The community care group will focus on maintaining peoples' health through preventive services and primary care, according to Intermountain.  

    Harrison said Intermountain's goal with the shift is to internally align the system to facilitate strategic communication and help the system adapt quickly and communicate better with patients to deliver care more efficiently and effectively. According to Harrison, the new structure will establish greater stewardship over safety and quality as Intermountain seeks to establish consistent care throughout the system.

    For instance, Intermountain's community and specialty divisions will have their own leadership teams that include CMOs, COOs, and chief nursing officers—all of whom will report to Harrison's leadership team. In addition, according to Harrison, a chief consumer officer will assume traditional marketing responsibilities while also leveraging big data and artificial intelligence to pursue work in areas such as precision medicine.

    Ultimately, Harrison said the management structure will curb some competition between hospitals and practices and streamline overall decision-making. Harrison did not specify how many roles would be affected by the change, but he acknowledged that some administrative jobs would be ended, while others would be altered for new positions.

    In addition, Intermountain on Jan. 1 will launch a virtual hospital, Harrison said.  It will provide tele-stroke, tele-behavioral health, tele-trauma, and other services, with the aim of keeping people as close to their homes as feasible. "We want to be a model for tomorrow," Harrison said.

    Separately, Brian Fuller, national partner of consulting at Advisory Board, noted, "There is a realization that organizations need to change how they fundamentally think and behave," adding, "They are rewiring the circuitry of these organizations" (Kacik, Modern Healthcare, 10/19).

    During a structure overhaul, prevent communication overload by limiting mass emails

    With so many organizational goals and priorities, it's hard to know what information leaders and staff need—and how to get the information to them. Email can be an effective tool for sending organization-wide messages, but only if used sparingly.

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