Megan Larsen visits Dr Scoville with her two children Paityn and Titan Larsen. They have been attending the Intermountain Healthcare US Synthetic site clinic since it opened nine years ago. (Stuart Johnson, KSL TV)
OREM – Intermountain Healthcare has a long history of working onsite clinics, and they are now introducing a new approach to family medicine with a focus on preventative care. A family in the Utah Valley says they have benefited from this intimate and intentional approach to medicine.
The Larsen family know how to have fun, but they always have safety in mind. “Biking and motorcycling, camping and boating,” Megan Larsen described. “And safety and health … has always been a top priority for us.”
Megan and Ryan Larsen have two young children, which is one of the reasons they’re grateful that their family has long had access to an on-site primary care clinic at Ryan’s work, US Synthetic.
“They make diamond drills for oil rigs,” Megan Larsen said. The Intermountain Healthcare clinic serves approximately 500 employees and their families directly on their campus in partnership with Castle.
“We stop and say hello to dad and have lunch with him after our exams,” Larsen said.
Five months ago, the US Synthetic Intermountain Healthcare site clinic is now the first in Utah to offer a redesigned primary care model, focused on prevention and maintaining human health.
Dr. Spencer Scoville practices full time in the clinic. He says this new approach to medicine allows him to think about who needs preventative care and proactively contact patients to see how they are doing. It is based on a robust data platform that guarantees caregivers a constant follow-up of patients.
“Looking at the patient lists and seeing, you know, ‘Who hasn’t been seen?… Are they taking their meds? Are they taking it as it should be,” said Scoville. He says this model helps him identify chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure early on, before they become a bigger problem.
“If you can treat a hypertensive patient before they have long-term hypertension, you will avoid things like heart attack, stroke,” Scoville explained. “There is a lot of evidence that shows that even a little education can go a long way if we catch it early, where the benefits later are not as great.”
Since the implementation of this new model, patient satisfaction scores have improved by 15% according to Intermountain and various quality measures for patient health have also increased by 5 to 15%.
Scoville has seen Paityn and Titan Larsen since they were newborns. “We used them faithfully for our checkups, wellness exams, vaccinations,” Larsen explained. “We love Dr Scoville and it has been good for our family.”
He also helped the family on more serious occasions, such as when Ryan Larsen was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy. “His face had started to sag, so he did – he started to lose feeling on one side of his face,” Larsen described.
Fortunately, Ryan Larsen received timely emergency treatment and has no lasting symptoms.
Scoville also helped Ryan when he was injured on the job. “He literally called after he had already had stitches and thought, ‘Hey, I got a cut at work today… but they stitched me up. Everything is fine, “” Larsen recalls. “It is so nice and reassuring to know that they are there.”
“He’ll call us, you know, or text us and just make sure that after more important things happen, we’re fine,” Larsen said.
The clinic also offers ease of access for families. “To be honest, we’ve always been able to get in within hours,” Larsen said.
“They can slide around and be seen during a 15- or 30-minute break quite easily,” said Scoville.
Larsen says the best part of going to the American Synthetic Clinic, however, is the connection they found with Scoville.
“(It) got us all to know him, and he got to know us on a personal level,” Larsen said.
“I’ve been here nine years so it’s fun to watch the kids grow up,” said Scoville. “They can come in and we can get to know them very well and hopefully take better care of them because we know them better.”
Intermountain says patients who use this new, prevention-based model of care are less likely to go to the emergency room, be admitted to hospital, or need outpatient imaging. It’s also easier on the wallet. On average, members save almost $ 20 per month.
“Preventive care is really where the greatest value of care is,” said Scoville. “If we can prevent an emergency room visit, it’s a big cost savings.”