Intermountain Dixie Regional Medical Center

  • Location: St. George, UT
  • Award: Evidence-Based Leadership Organization of the Month
  • Awarded: December 2014

St. George has been named one of the fastest growing communities in the western United States frequently since the 1990s. Temperate winters and beautiful, rugged scenery have earned the city a national reputation as an excellent retirement community. Consequently, Intermountain Healthcare’s Dixie Regional Medical Center has worked diligently to stay ahead of healthcare needs. In 1995, for example, Dixie Regional was a 127-bed hospital with about 600 employees and a medical staff of 65 physicians. Today Dixie Regional is a 245-bed, not-for-profit hospital on two campuses. Patients come from surrounding southern Utah, southern Nevada and northwestern Arizona. Dixie’s medical staff has 285 physicians and 2,749 employees provide care in the region for Intermountain.

In 2013 the city of St. George celebrated 100 years of hospital history. In 1913 two doctors desiring to improve healthcare purchased a boarding house and turned it into a hospital. The county purchased it from them a few years later. In the 1970s the county commission voted to align with a new organization that had been created when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints divested its hospitals – Intermountain Healthcare. Intermountain and the county commission both shared the goal of having model healthcare of the highest quality here at home. At the time of purchase Intermountain leaders promised they would continue to honor that commitment and Dixie Regional takes pride in continuing to fulfill that promise.

Intermountain has since become internationally regarded for living true to the premise behind the promise: higher quality tends to result in lower overall cost. Evidence shows when care is delivered in the right way in the right place at the right time – patients experience fewer complications, fewer readmissions, and better outcomes overall. It is also important to recognize that best care means not doing things that don’t contribute to better outcomes, adding only cost and additional risk. Thus, a very important additional benefit of such higher quality care is often lower costs.

Over the past 12 years Dixie Regional has grown from a small community hospital to a tertiary level medical center. The Intermountain system’s strength of commitment to best practice has facilitated Dixie Regional’s high degree of specialization in many areas. The center added LifeFlight helicopter services in 2011 and began doing neurosurgery in 2012 as key components for the advancement of trauma care. Dixie began functioning like a level two trauma center in September and will apply for certification next year. Dixie is nationally regarded for outcomes in open-heart surgery, newborn intensive care, and cancer care. Intermountain Cancer Genomics, based at Dixie, is revolutionizing the treatment of cancer through personalized, genetically targeted care. In harmony with our mission to help people live the healthiest lives possible,

Dixie also features a LiVe Well Center. Residents frequent the center for health coaching and classes to help them get well, stay well and live well for the rest of their lives.

Community ties to the hospital are strong. As a charitable not-for-profit, Dixie funded $23 million in charity care in 2014. The hospital has great relationships across the community, including close collaboration with Dixie State University. Both institutions worked tirelessly as the university opened the Taylor Health Sciences Building immediately adjacent to the hospital in 2009. Leadership has jointly cultivated health occupations programs including nursing (and bachelor of nursing), surgical technology, pharmacy technician, phlebotomy, physical therapy, respiratory therapy, radiology, medical assistant, and medical technology. Currently curriculum is being developed to help more undergraduate medical students get into excellent medical schools. In like partnership with the Washington County School District and Family Healthcare, two school-based clinics were created to provide healthcare to students, faculty and the underserved in surrounding neighborhoods. Other community partnerships abound.

Dixie Regional has implemented a wide range of best practices including:

  • Leader rounding on patients
  • Leader rounding on employees
  • Hourly rounding
  • Rounding on community leaders
  • Bedside Report
  • AIDET cmmunication tactics
  • Hand Written Thank You Notes
  • Patient communication whiteboards
  • Increased the number of Focus Groups
  • The 10-5 Rule
  • Inter-Departmental Satisfaction Survey
  • Gallup Employee Satisfaction Survey

The Results

  • Gallup Survey results showing employee engagement
    • 84% of Southwest Region (SWR) employees completed the Gallup survey in 2014
    • Our grand mean score for the region was 4.29, the highest in the Intermountain system. This puts us in the 82nd percentile when compared to Gallup’s hospital data base (but the 64th percentile when compared to Gallup’s total healthcare database)
    • The SWR has a low rate of “actively disengaged” employees with only 5% in that category compared to 7% for Intermountain and 11% in Gallup’s data base
    • Out of the top five hospital scores for Intermountain, the SWR had two in that group: Dixie Regional and Valley View. (Valley View had the highest facility score in our company with a 4.44 grand mean)
  • Employee Wellness: The SWR has been focused on employee wellness in all dimensions receiving a score of 4.41 on the Gallup survey when employees asked if our facility fostered a culture of wellness
  • HCAHPS highlights
    • Dixie’s overall hospital rating score is at the 90th percentile, nationally
    • Two of our inpatient units (ICU and Cardiovascular) are at the 97th percentile
    • Our OB unit is at the 92nd percentile
    • None of our inpatient units are below the 75th percentile
    • The vast majority of our outpatient units are above the 75th percentile
  • Revenue is tracking 9.6% ahead of goal with NOI tracking more than 100% ahead of goal

Recent Honors and Awards

  • iVantage Health Analytics — named Dixie Regional a 2014 Healthstrong Top Hospital
  • Truven Health Analytics — named Dixie a Top 50 Heart Hospital (in the nation in 2013)
  • Our Acute Rehabilitation Unit — was named to Uniform Data System’s top 10 percent in the nation
  • The American Heart Association — presented Dixie Regional with the Get with the Guidelines Stroke Gold-Plus Award and listed us on the Stroke Honor Role
  • The American Heart Association — presented Dixie Regional with the Get with the Guidelines Heart Failure Gold Award
  • Health Insight presented the “Quality Award” to Dixie in October. This is the 5th time we have won this award
  • Dixie was ranked 29 on the Becker’s Hospital Review list of 100 Best Hospitals for Patient Engagement. Becker’s also listed Dixie in their 100 Hospitals with Great Heart Programs
  • Dixie received Women Certified’s award for America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience and (1st in Utah) and was named a Best Hospital (in the nation) for Patient Experience in Heart Care, Orthopedics, Cancer Care, and Obstetrics
  • Dixie was voted 11th Most Beautiful Hospital in the U.S. on Soliant Healthcare’s top 20 list for 2014
  • Dixie ranked “high performing” in pulmonology in U.S. News 2014 Best Hospitals and 8th best hospital in Utah
  • Dixie State University honored Dixie Regional with a Business Partnership Award at their 2014 award ceremony
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