University Hospitals Wins Top Award from American Hospital Association

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Congratulations on making UH the 2022 national leader in quality

UH Clinical Update | July 2022

By Cliff A. Megerian, MD, FACS, Chief Executive Officer; Jane and Henry Meyer Chief Executive Officer Distinguished Chair

As clinicians, you play a pivotal role in creating a culture of care and excellence at University Hospitals. Impressively, your efforts have recently received recognition by the premier judges of hospital quality in the health care industry – the American Hospital Association.

The AHA, which is comprised of more than 5,000 national hospitals and health systems, has awarded UH the American Hospital Association Quest for Quality Prize, its most prestigious honor.

Through the years, you have concentrated on providing kind and compassionate care, while staying focused on minimizing risk and harm, maximizing quality and reducing cost, and caring for the community when and where extra care was needed. These actions made UH stand out among our peers, garnering this award.

A committee of health care quality and patient safety experts commenced a rigorous evaluation process that included submission of volumes of material and metrics as well as an all-day on-site visit that examined UH’s approach to quality, safety and equity.

Here’s just a sampling of what we did to earn AHA’s designation as the 2022 Leader in Quality.

We believe that “zero harm” and maximizing value is everyone’s responsibility - and we committed to stop believing that harm is inevitable and start believing it is preventable. We also encourage “I will” statements – such as, “I will start believing that I play a critical part in the safety, well-being and health of those we serve.”

We foster a speak-up culture, which reinforces that we are a learning organization – and we can listen and learn from all other caregivers. We know that sharing knowledge and effective practices fosters a flow of ideas throughout the system.

And our journey to Zero Harm – for which I give great credit to Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD, our Chief Quality and Clinical Transformation officer, who was the driving force behind this effort that is now embedded into all that we do. We break it into four domains: Zero clinical harm, zero suffering from poor patient experience, zero inequities and zero wasted resources.

These are not just theories – they are something we put into practice and continue to build upon every day.

Zero harm comes from building high-reliability medicine into our work streams so patients get the right evidence-based care for their needs. We ensure standard procedures are followed to eliminate unwarranted variation.

Zero suffering from poor patient experience is accomplished by ensuring that patients feel respected and heard, that we improve their access to care and we avail ourselves of education sessions in patient and family-centered care.

Zero inequities is something we work toward by promoting social justice, equity, diversity and inclusion – through  bias training, UH Health Scholars, and Food for Life Markets, for example. We bring access to health care in places where it had not been available through the creation of the UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Ahuja Center for Women & Children and the UH Otis Moss Jr. Health Center.

Zero wasted resources occurs when we prevent defects in value by not making clinical decisions that would increase cost with no increase in quality. As a result, among Medicare ACOs who achieved a 100% score in quality, we were the lowest cost provider in Ohio and the fourth-lowest cost provider in the nation.

The AHA recognizes all our hard work in improving the patient experience in all dimensions – starting with enabling easy access for those who need our care, to the beginning of an appointment with a provider, to being discharged from a clinic or hospital, and everything in between.

We recognize that technical expertise and medical excellence is certainly of the highest importance, but ultimately what led to this award is that our cultural ethos echoes the words of Maya Angelou, who famously said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

When people think back on their interaction with UH caregivers, we want them to remember they felt safe and cared for. That is what drives their loyalty, and what makes UH the most trusted health care partner.

This powerful acknowledgement could not have happened without all of you. And winning this award does not mean we have reached our destination – but it does celebrate the progress we’ve made in our journey.

I thank you all for this outstanding achievement!

 

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