Intermountain Healthcare has devoted an enormous amount of resources for ground-up development of decision support algorithms and protocols to fire against its patient population. That effort has paid off in decreased mortality and marked improvements in clinical outcomes for segments of that population.

But it’s not enough, not nearly enough, according to Stan Huff. M.D., the health system’s chief medical informatics officer. “We have about 200 clinical decision support programs running every day against patients, but without exaggerating, there are 5,000 algorithms that we could be doing, and should be doing,” Huff says. “The costs of analyzing problems, working with clinicians to develop solutions, and testing the solution via clinical trials and IT betas is absolutely enormous. And we, like everyone else, are targeting a small set of high-profile, high-cost disease states. For the rest of our patients, we’re not doing much.

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