Our stars are rising

By: Randy Harmatz

October was a very exciting month at UF Health. By now, I hope everyone has heard that UF Health Shands Hospital received a four-star (out of five) rating on the University HealthSystem Consortium Quality and Accountability Scorecard, and we couldn’t be more proud.

For those who don’t know, UHC is a consortium of over 100 academic medical centers, all similar to us. Each year UHC produces a rating of each organization’s quality based on outcomes in six areas: mortality, harm, effectiveness, patient centeredness, equity and efficiency. We are particularly proud this year since we improved in several key areas, including reducing harm and increasing effectiveness and patient centeredness, all areas we have been working on as part of our Big Aims and Strive for Five initiatives. Where we saw the biggest improvement was in reducing harm, where we ranked ninth overall and for the first time made it into the Top 10 and closer to our goal of five stars. 

In addition to our UHC rating, we also learned that we received an “A” hospital safety score from The Leapfrog Group, which compares hospital performance derived from a set of publicly available quality measures. UF Health Shands Hospital also earned Top Performer status from the Joint Commission. This accolade acknowledges our teams’ best practices in key quality measures for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care.

And finally, we have our own stars. Since January 2014, we have awarded 15 Great Catch Awards, a program started to publicly recognize caregivers who have spoken up and prevented potential harm to our patients. They are our true shining stars.   Our collective goal is to achieve that UHC five-star rating, and while we aren’t there yet we have made tremendous progress. With everyone’s continued commitment, I know we can align our efforts and achieve our goal.