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Process Improvement Efforts Earn University Hospital Top 100 Ranking

May 13, 2005 — Ongoing efforts to improve quality of care, operational efficiency, and financial performance have earned University of Utah Hospitals & Clinics and its leadership team a spot on the annual roster of the country’s 100 most-improved hospitals. The list, based on a study by health-care information company Solucient, was reported in a recent issue of Modern Healthcare magazine.

“This national recognition is well deserved by the staff, physicians, leadership team, and the board of University of Utah Hospitals & Clinics. To be named in this study, a hospital must have improved overall performance consistently, year-after-year, at a substantially faster rate than its peer institutions across the country,” said Neil Kochenour, M.D., the hospital’s medical director and a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University’s medical school.

The 100 Top Hospitals: Performance Improvement Leaders study evaluated all U.S. hospitals licensed to treat Medicare patients and ranked the facilities on five years worth of publicly reported data. The study found that leaders in hospital process improvement made key gains between 1999 and 2003, including: fewer complications, adverse safety events, and patient deaths than expected; going from being unprofitable to maintaining a healthy positive profit margin; and discharging patients three-quarters of a day earlier.

“This study is a major step forward in objectively measuring the impact a superior management team can have on an organization over time by instilling a culture of change,” said Jean Chenoweth, executive director of Solucients Top 100 Hospital’s program. “These are hospitals in a position to thrive as the growth of pay-for-performance and consumerism force change in the industry.”

University of Utah Hospitals & Clinics was one of 15 major teaching hospitals named in the study and the only hospital named from the Intermountain West. More information about the study is available online at