U Health Care Secures No. 1 Spot After 6 Years in the Top 10

hospital Justin Adams

For the past seven years, University of Utah Health Care (UUHC) has ranked in the top 10 as one of the nation’s leading medical centers in quality, safety and accountability. This year, however, the U has advanced to the top spot, taking the No. 1 spot for 2016.

While the U has been in the top 10 for the past 6 years, they have not taken the No. 1 spot since back in 2010. Since then, they have worked hard to regain that top spot and have succeeded this year for the second time. “The reason we were able to secure that No. 1 spot again was because of the focus and dedication of everyone in the organization. As a team, we have reduced complications, maintained communication and helped patients to understand their overall care plan,” said Dr. Robert Pendleton, Chief Medical Quality Officer.

Vizient Inc. announced that UUHC earned the No. 1 spot over more than 100 of the country’s most credited academic medical institutions. What this means is that UUHC provides their patients with the best quality and safest treatment in the U.S.. Patients are also far less likely to be readmitted upon being discharged. The ranking also recognizes that the U provides exceptional care for their patients across all areas, not just in two or three.

The goal of Vizient’s Quality and Accountability study is to help academic medical institutions like UUHC to follow procedures that demonstrate quality and safety for all patients, regardless of what they are visiting the U for. The six domains of care that are assessed when conducting the study are safety, timeliness, effectiveness, efficiency, equity and patient-centeredness.

In addition, the U was also awarded the Vizient Excellence Award for Ambulatory Care, which recognizes that UUHC delivers patient-centered, effective and efficient outpatient care. When conducting this study, the five domains taken into account are access to care, capacity management and throughput, quality and efficiency, continuum of care, and equity.

The main goal that UUHC strives to meet, aside from providing outstanding care for all patients, is cost. Providing the best care possible at the lowest cost has been and continues to be the shared goal of management and 13,000 physicians and staff. As for Dr. Pendleton, who has been working for the U for 20 years now, he believes that the most recent ranking has really given the whole team a sense of pride and confirmation that the goals they continue to strive for everyday are being met.

Although UUHC has been awarded the No. 1 spot this year, they plan to continue to excel even more in the future. “Even though we are proud of the ranking and to be in that No. 1 spot, there is still a lot of room for opportunity and improvement for UUHC to be even better in years to come,” said Dr. Pendleton. The ranking isn’t seen as a stopping point for the U. Instead it’s seen as progress and success with the procedures they are currently following to be the best they can be. “It’s a step in the right direction for ongoing improvement for our patients,” said Dr. Pendleton.