UCH hospital declared tops in nation



Those 59,820 people in Colorado Springs who voted to lease city-owned Memorial Health System to University of Colorado Health will be happy to learn this: One of UCH's hospitals, University Hospital, has been named the highest-performing academic hospital for quality health care in the United States for the second year running, UCH says in a news release.

Memorial health system University of Colorado Health
  • University Hospital website
  • Anschutz Medical Campus, the site of the University of Colorado Hospital.

The designation was bestowed by the University HealthSystem Consortium, the 116-member alliance of the nation's leading nonprofit academic medical centers and 276 of their affiliated hospitals.

No other hospital has been named top performer over consecutive years.

On Aug. 28, voters in Colorado Springs overwhelmingly approved a 40-year lease of Memorial to UCH. The lease will close Oct. 1, and UCH will take over operation of Memorial and its assets. That said, there are some outstanding issues that will nag well beyond that transfer date.

From the release:

The award is given to the academic hospital with the best outcome scores in patient safety, clinical effectiveness, clinical efficiency, patient satisfaction, mortality and equity, which is a measure of whether outcomes differ for patients of different ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds.

"Last year, when the University of Colorado Hospital won this award for the first time, I thought it was the proudest moment of my career," said University of Colorado Health CEO Bruce Schroffel. "Now, to be named the top academic hospital in quality in the nation for two consecutive years, I'm speechless. This is the highest recognition any hospital can receive, and it motivates us to constantly focus on providing a level and quality of care not found anywhere else in Colorado or the United States."

Academic medical centers are the research and medical school-based hospitals generally seen as the best places for advanced, complex care. University of Colorado Hospital is the leading academic medical center in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region and is home to some of the nation's best specialists and sub-specialists. Through the research focus of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, UCH offers clinical trial drugs and innovative procedures unavailable at other hospitals in our region.

"Every day our nurses, staff and physicians strive to be the very best," University of Colorado Hospital President and CEO John Harney said. "We're honored that our hard work is being recognized, but the primary reason we strive for the top is to provide our patients with that award-winning care. From the moment patients step through our doors, we're focused on providing top quality treatment and a positive experience."

University of Colorado Hospital also received the 2012 UHC Supply Chain Performance Excellence Award which reflects the dedication of staff to ordering and delivering medications and supplies while maintaining high quality and efficiency.

"Supply chain might sound boring, but this incredible department ensures our nurses and doctors have the supplies they need exactly when they need them," said Harney. "A delay of even 15 minutes could put a patient at risk, so getting literally thousands of critical, sometimes short-lived medications and high-tech equipment to the right place at the right time is a science unto itself. Part of the UHC award is based on cost-effectiveness of the supply chain and the prices paid."

University of Colorado Hospital is now part of University of Colorado Health, a Colorado-based healthcare system comprised of five hospitals and many clinics and physicians stretching from Colorado Springs to Wyoming. The quality reflected by the UHC awards is shared across the system to improve health care throughout the Rocky Mountain region.

In addition to being named the top-performing academic hospital in the United States, U.S. News & World Report named University of Colorado Hospital the best hospital in Colorado in July 2012. The hospital's specialties have been ranked among the best in the country by U.S. News for 18 consecutive years.

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