Intermountain Health Care, which operates hospitals in several states, has signed an agreement with 3M that will accelerate the development and distribution of the HELP hospital information system.

Under the agreement, 3M Health Information Systems and IHC, both based in Salt Lake City, will combine their efforts on the HELP system. IHC will install the system in its 24 hospitals.Purchased by 3M from Control Data Corp. in 1987, the HELP system is designed to assist health care agencies by increasing the quality of patient care.

IHC has witnessed substantial improvements in patient care that the HELP systems delivers, said Larry Grandia, vice president of information systems for the hospital chain. LDS Hospital has been developing and using the HELP system for 20 years and many doctors have used the facilities.

The McKay-Dee Hospital Center in Ogden will be the first IHC hospital to use the HELP system under the new agreement.