Care for patients at Tooele’s Mountain West Medical Center continues to improve because of its affiliation with University of Utah Health. The affiliation provides a “hospitalist group” from the U who coordinate and take care of patients Tooele 24/7.
“Since the starting date of September 1, 2020, our patients rank our University/MWMC group in the 90th percentile nationally on patient satisfaction surveys,” said MWMC Chief Executive Officer Phil Eaton.
Hospitalists are doctors who direct the care of patients in the hospital. Because of how complicated health care in the U.S. has become, virtually all of the country’s best hospitals now use hospitalists rather than having primary care doctors care for their hospitalized patients, according to MWMC. There is strong evidence that hospitalists improve the quality of care patients receive.
University doctors Devin Horton, Marja Anton, China Cox, Christine Oberg and nurse practitioners are part of the hospitalist group at the hospital.
“On September 1 all the doctors at the University of Utah went live aligning our protocols, pathways and programs that the U is so famous for with Phil (Eaton) and Mountain West,” said Dr. Horton, chief hospitalist at MWMC.
“Hospitalist are trained in internal medicine and we specialize in the care of hospitalized patients. The first person you see is an emergency doctor, if you spend the night at the hospital we will take care of you,” Dr. Horton said.
Eaton said the hospitalists know the specialists at the University and utilize telemedicine for patients anytime they need a specialty consult 24/7 resulting in few transfer of patients.
“Our ER doctors are adjunct faculty members of the University and have coordinated patient treatment protocols with the hospitalists. The result is patient-centered care and our clinical and nursing staff satisfaction has increased right along the way. I am proud to serve the hospital staff and be a part of this excellence in patient care,” Eaton said.
Dr. Horton said he spends about 50% of his time working with patients at MWMC.
“It’s been great working out there with the wonderful people at Mountain West. They care about their community and having quality care in the community. It took a month or so to get our feet under us, then we had to deal with a global pandemic and had to manage that as well as start to initiate some of our projects,” Horton said.
The hospitalist group is committed to listen to patients’ needs, treat patients with courtesy and respect, explain things in a way patients will understand, keep patients informed, make every effort to safely help with pain, and to communicate with a patient’s primary care doctor to update him or her on their care.