Intermountain Builds FHIR-Based Clinical Decision Support Platform

April 25, 2023
First application that Intermountain Health is using on this new platform is an updated version of its ePneumonia app

Utah-based Intermountain Health says that its medical informaticists have developed a platform that hosts real-time clinical decision support tools to help clinicians use evidence-based medicine, algorithms, and artificial intelligence (AI) apps that aid them in making more precise diagnoses and treatment plans for patients at the bedside.

The real-time, FHIR-enabled platform can be used with the major EHR systems, and allows clinicians to securely read from and write directly to the medical record in real-time

“The platform has the capability to effectively perform and represent complex clinical processes and enables more rapid development of both clinical and business workflows. This will help create a more seamless experience for patients,” said Kathryn Kuttler, Ph.D., advanced decision support director at 33-hospital Intermountain Health, in a statement.

The first application that Intermountain Health is using on this new platform is an updated version of its ePneumonia app, which was first used in 2011. This updated app is being used to help emergency department clinicians enhance the diagnosis and treatment of pneumonia patients at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah.

Intermountain clinicians have published research about the app’s benefits in terms of helping to get patients the right antibiotics sooner and ensuring they receive the appropriate level of care.

“In the studies, we demonstrated a 36 percent relative decrease in 30-day mortality for pneumonia patients, which is more than 100 lives saved annually. We observed 17 percent increase in outpatient disposition from the emergency department and increased the use of antibiotic best practices,” said Nathan Dean, M.D., section chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Intermountain Medical Center and principal investigator of the studies, in a statement.

“This advanced approach to using data builds on the strong culture of innovation we foster at Intermountain Health. Patient care is often complex and very personal,” said Craig Richardville, chief digital and information officer at Intermountain Health, in a statement. “This gives providers another tool to help them give patients the best, individualized care possible and helps ensure the right decision is being made at the right time.”

Intermountain Health has other apps for other medical specialties and diagnoses planned that will also run on the new platform. The platform is unique in the way it was developed and versatile in its capabilities and potential uses.

According to Kuttler, the foundation of the platform is a standards-based workflow engine that integrates a variety of services, including:

• FHIR-based read and write services, which securely read from and write to the EHR in real-time;

• Publish and subscribe event processing, which continuously updates the workflow engine as new test results are added to the patient’s medical record;

• Imaging services -- chest images are interpreted by an AI, deep neural network; and

• Diagnostic services are executed by an AI, Bayesian network; 

“Every Intermountain Health hospital or urgent care in seven states will eventually be able to access this platform and this app and future apps. And both technologies could be used by other health systems as well,” said Richardville.

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