Please note this report is not intended to be anyone's sole source of information about quality or charges in Utah. Rather, it is designed to provide helpful information that can play an important role in choosing health care facilities, along with other sources including doctor recommendations.
Why are you producing this report?
- Senate Bill 132 (2005) requires the Health Data Committee (HDC) and its staff to publish reader-friendly reports comparing Utah’s health care facilities based on nationally-recognized measures for quality, charges and patient safety.
- The HDC and Utah Department of Health are committed to providing useful health care information for all people in Utah. Providers can use these reports to improve the quality of care they give to their patients.
Why is this report important to me?
- Health care facilities can vary, sometimes quite a bit, in terms of quality of care and patient charges. Consumers are encouraged to use the information in this report to ask questions of their doctor or health care professional, facility or insurance representative. Let them know you plan to take an active role in your health care decisions.
Who else helped shape this report?
- Utah citizens continually review our consumer reports to make sure they are understandable and easy to read. Since 2005, several focus groups have been held in both rural and urban locations. Public input helps us create user-friendly reports for people who are not medical experts yet need useful health care information.
- Utah Transparency Advisory Panel (formerly called “SB 132 Task Force) is an HDC advisory group represented by consumers, payers, hospitals, quality organizations and public health. Panel members have advised staff about methods and measures to use in the reports as well as reporting priorities.
- Health care facilities reviewed their data and overall report content before public release. For more information, see the “About the Data” section in this report.
- Statistical experts assisted in selecting the appropriate method for comparing hospital performance.
- Leading physicians and health educators reviewed medical information in the report where applicable.
What are consumers saying about these reports?
Feedback has been received from a variety of sources including our MyHealthCare Website, consumer focus groups and newspaper articles. Below are some examples:
- “We have needed these reports for a long time”
- “Now we are more empowered and have tools to compare.”
- “This will help us to ask questions when we see our doctor.”
- “The consumer reports help people make better choices about their health care. People can use them as a basis for questions to ask their doctors.”
- “They [the reports] are not definitive—the end-all in choosing one physician or hospital over another—but rather a valuable point of departure for people anticipating specific health care encounters.”
- “The more a person knows about the cost and quality of care, the more likely they are to receive the care they need and deserve.”
Telestroke is a system where patients with stroke symptoms living in rural areas can be evaluated by a University of Utah Health Sciences Center stroke neurologist. Stroke patients who meet certain criteria, throughout Utah are given the opportunity to be prescribed clot busting medication (an effective treatment for stroke), which rural areas are usually unable to administer.
The Stroke Center at University of Utah Hospital employs a 24/7 stroke response team, including neurologists trained in stroke treatment and other specialists. For more information about telestroke and which hospitals have telestroke capability, call the Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program at 1-866-88-STROKE.
What is a certified stroke center?
A certified stroke center provides stroke-related care and services that meet the unique, specialized needs of stroke patients. For example, certified stroke centers are required to have health care experts (i.e. doctors, nurses) on hand who provide 24-hour rapid response for stroke care.
As of January 2009, four hospitals in Utah have been certified as Primary Stroke Centers: Intermountain Medical Center, McKay-Dee Hospital, University of Utah Medical Center, and Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. Primary stroke facilities are reviewed every two years by the Joint Commission (JCAHO). For an updated list of certified facilities in Utah, see the JCAHO website.