U’s Healthcare System Ranks in the Top Ten Hospitals Nationwide for the Tenth Year in a Row


(Courtesy University of Utah Hospital)

By Angelyn Ramos, News Writer


In 1965, the University of Utah Hospital opened its doors for the first time. For the past fifty years, those doors have handled thousands of patients. This year, the U was ranked in the top 10 of the prestigious 2019 Vizient Bernard A. Birnbaum, MD, Quality Leadership Award. For the 10th year in a row, the U has received this award, along with many others.

A press release from Noman Khan, the media relations and content marketing specialist of University of Utah Health, explained that the award is based on a study where “hundreds of academic medical centers and community hospitals were included in the study, which measures superior performance based on the Institute of Medicine’s six domains of care — safety, timeliness, effectiveness, efficiency, equity, and patient-centeredness.”

The press release goes on to explain that “the composite scoring system uses patient-level performance data from a variety of sources, including the Vizient Clinical Database, the Vizient Core Measures Database, the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network.”

Overall, the U comes in fourth place, in between the Mayo Clinic (Rochester) and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Additionally, the U has been recognized for being on Beckers’s list of top 100 great hospitals in America and ranking in IBM Watson’s top 100 Hospitals. IBM Watson rankings are determined from an annual study “based on a balanced scorecard using publicly available data for clinical, operational, and patient satisfaction metrics.” IBM Watson found that, on a whole, those who scored within the top 100 hospitals in the country “achieved better risk-adjusted outcomes while maintaining both a lower average cost per patient and higher profit margin than peer group hospitals that were part of the study.

“I wanted to work for the U ever since my son was a patient there 5 years ago,” said Nikki Ferguson in an email to the Chronicle. Ferguson has been an employee of the U Hospital Systems for a year and a half. “The feeling I had as an outsider was that this was a company the employees were proud to work for and they all worked as one. That feeling became truth when I started there and I felt it firsthand as an employee.”

“I will say my experience as a patient’s family member taught me more about the U than working has,” Ferguson said. “I saw every department working together from the CEO (which became a regular visitor to my son) to the EVS [cleaning staff] staff that did more for me than they’ll ever know. I was so impressed with how it was ran as a single engine with every part as important as the other.”

Both patients and employees alike are not surprised about the U’s ranking.

“Since I started working there I felt the same respect no matter your position or department,” Ferguson said. “This is not the case at most hospitals I’ve worked for or visited. It truly is a unique hospital, and easily ranks one of the best in the nation.”


[email protected]