July 23, 2012

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U of U School of Medicine Leading in Innovation

Di Lewis

July 23, 2012

The University of Utah is putting programs in place to lead to personalized healthcare and more innovative approaches to improve care, said Dr. Vivian Lee, senior VP for Health Sciences, dean of the School of Medicine and University of Utah Health Care CEO.

Lee said healthcare is frequently so fragmented among different providers that there is a lot of redundancy and wasted time. The fragmentation is due in large part to the different healthcare providers training separately. By integrating training and education, Lee said they can better understand what everyone is doing and work together more effectively.

The recently announced Center for Medical Innovation at the U is also bringing together different colleges and schools throughout the university to find new solutions to better healthcare at every level of the patient experience. Lee said the center gives students from undergrads to medical students and those in graduate programs the opportunity and support to create, design and plan ways to help patients.

Through the Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, Lee said they are studying to provide more patient-centric approaches to healthcare. “The question is how can we put the patient at the center of our thinking,” she said. Doing that will begin truly personalized care, but “I think we all realize what we’re doing right now is one size fits all,” she said.

The university is also hoping to get more funding to admit more students, Lee said. Right now the School of Medicine only has 82 students, where similar programs are nearly double that size. It’s important to get more people going into primary care because there is a projected national shortage of 150,000 physicians in the next 15 years, and Utah will be among the hardest hit.

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