State at a Glance: Utah

Learn more about the CHIPRA quality demonstration projects being implemented in Utah.

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As one of the 10 grantees, Utah is working with its partner Idaho to implement projects in three of the five grant categories:

  • Promoting the use of health information technology (IT) to enhance service quality and care coordination.
  • Implementing a more comprehensive provider-based model of service delivery.
  • Testing an approach to quality improvement of a State's own design.

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Utah's Objectives

Utah is working to improve quality of care for all children, with particular emphasis on children with special health care needs (CSHCN). Under the demonstration, Utah will: (1) implement a strategy to improve the child health IT infrastructure in the State, (2) help practices transform into medical homes, and (3) foster collaboration among child-serving practices engaged in quality improvement activities.

Using Health IT to Improve Child Health Care Quality

Utah is implementing a multifaceted health IT strategy aimed at improving quality measurement and enhancing care coordination. As part of the strategy, Utah will pilot HealthInsight's Practice Analytics, software that extracts and reports quality measures directly from a provider's electronic health record (EHR); develop and pilot the Pediatric Patient Summary, a secure, Web-based application that summarizes information available in the State health information exchange (HIE) for a given child with complex conditions that can be updated, as appropriate, by providers and families; and improve the Medical Home Portal , an online resource that providers and family members may use to gain information on care for chronic conditions and to identify community resources and services for CSHCN.  Utah and Idaho also will connect their HIEs and create interfaces between them and public health information systems, including theUtah Statewide Immunization Information System (USIIS) and Newborn Screening Program database. In addition, Utah will help practices participating in their medical home project access the EHR at the region's sole pediatric tertiary facility and the EHR's secure communication tool, the "Message Log."

Assessing a Provider-Based Model of Care

Utah is working with nine pediatric primary care practices and three subspecialty practices to support them in becoming effective medical home teams and in providing high quality and coordinated care in partnership with patients and families and with particular attention to CSHCN. Participating practices have a part-time medical home coordinator employed by the State and embedded in their practice, who will participate in learning collaborative sessions and work with a family partner. The shared services model will support care coordination, practice coaching, quality improvement, and family partner coordination.

Testing an Approach to Quality improvement of Utah's Own Design

As part of the National Improvement Partnership Network (NIPN) , Utah is building a coalition of providers engaged in quality improvement. Utah will offer learning collaboratives on various topics, such as physical and behavioral health integration, to engage physician practices in improving quality of care and will develop a curriculum for pediatric residents focused on the medical home and continuous quality improvement. Utah also will hold cross-State collaborative meetings with Idaho's improvement partnership on several topics, including resolving the challenges of collecting the core set of children's quality measures.

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Evaluation Questions

The national evaluation team will gather information from Utah to address a wide range of questions about the implementation and outcomes of its efforts, including:

  • How were cross-State connections developed between the Utah and Idaho HIEs?
  • Did the Utah medical home project enhance quality of care for children?
  • To what extent did the cross-State Utah and Idaho improvement partnerships enhance quality of care for the region's children?
  • What are the key lessons from Utah's experience that would be useful for other States?

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Additional Resources

The Medical Home Portal

The Medical Home Portal aims to provide ready access to reliable and useful information for professionals and families to help them care and advocate for children with special health care needs (CSHCN) as partners in the Medical Home model. The Portal offers detailed information about many chronic conditions in children and conditions identified through newborn screening programs, along with information on providing a comprehensive medical home. It offers information for families of children with chronic conditions about how to care and advocate for them and their siblings, how to find services and resources, and how to manage their many transitions in development and service systems. The Portal also compiles information about relevant local services in collaborating States to enable both clinicians and families to recognize and take advantage of valuable service providers. Representatives in Utah and Idaho are anxious to work with other States and regions to make their services information available within the Portal to enhance its value to local users. Please contact Chuck Norlin, MD, with questions or interest.

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Learn More

This information is current as of March 2012, slightly more than 2 years after grant award. To learn more about the projects that are being implemented in Utah under the CHIPRA Quality Demonstration Grant Program, please contact:

Charlene Frail-McGeever, Project Director
Utah Department of Health
PO Box 143108, Salt Lake City, UT 84114-3108

To learn more about the national evaluation of the CHIPRA Quality Demonstration Grant Program, send an email to

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Current as of April 2013
Internet Citation: State at a Glance: Utah. April 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.