Two Emory Hospitals Receive Quality Awards from UHC

September 2012

University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC), a national organization comprised of most of the nation's leading academic medical centers focusing on excellence in quality and safety, has ranked Emory University Hospital (combined with Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital) second and Emory University Hospital Midtown sixth in the 2012 UHC Quality Leadership Awards. This is the first time UHC has ever ranked two hospitals from one health care system in the national top 10.

The UHC rankings reflect the performance of its member teaching hospitals in multiple dimensions of quality and safety, and are traditionally looked upon as providing the best, most non-biased national quality measurement system available for teaching hospitals. Formed in 1984, UHC is an alliance of 116 leading academic medical centers and 276 of their affiliated hospitals representing a majority of the nation's academic medical centers.

The intensive efforts of the clinical quality and patient safety program of the Department of Surgery at Emory, directed by Dr. John Sweeney, to improve treatment and service indicators at these facilities, from mortality to readmission to infection rates, contributed to these rankings.

"In UHC's 2011 rankings, EUH jumped from 45th to 10th and Midtown from 42 to 11th. That was amazing enough," says Dr. Sweeney. "Our leap this year is virtually unprecedented."

The ongoing projects of the Department's quality program include clinical data analyses, outcomes studies, statistical modeling, and the initiation and evaluation of new protocols, all framed by participation in such national alliances as UHC, Best Practices for Better Care (BPBC), American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS/NSQIP), and the Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP).