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Vital Signs

Winter 2007

A Leadership Message

Healthcare Quality Measured on a Personal Level

From: David T. Feinberg, M.D. CEO, UCLA Hospital System Thomas E. Sibert, M.D. President, UCLA Faculty Group Practice

How to measure “quality” in healthcare has become a hot national topic. More independent organizations are striving to give consumers tools to weigh their decisions when choosing a physician, clinic or hospital.

UCLA has received high marks from many of these organizations (see box), pointing to the outstanding skills of world-renowned physicians, the use of advanced technologies that help diagnose and treat a myriad of conditions and diseases, and the ability to quickly translate cutting-edge research into bedside practice.

 But quality does not stop there. How all the pieces work in concert to assure rapid responses to life-threatening conditions, avoidance of medical mistakes, as well as making sure patients smoothly transition from their UCLA primary care physician to a specialist, all contribute to quality.

In addition, we internally audit and adjust systems in place, always asking ourselves the fundamental question: Are we doing what is best for our patients? UCLA physicians and staff are responsible for more than 1 million outpatient visits each year, 80,000 hospitalizations and countless interactions with community physicians with whom we strive to provide a smooth transition for their patients back into their care.

But it’s the individual patient experience that matters above all. Our senior administrators have made a commitment to routinely visit patients and their families at UCLA to hear about their experiences—good and bad—and to take action when needed. Spending time with our patients and their families reminds us of why we are here, and reconnects us with greater purpose to our mission.

While UCLA takes pride in all the top rankings it receives, the most important ranking is the one each patient gives us while in our care.

Among our most recent rankings:

 U.S.News & World Report ranks UCLA Medical Center No. 3 in the nation, and for 18 years the best in the western United States

Leapfrog Group, a coalition of business leaders, which conducts an annual survey recognized as the most complete assessment of hospital quality and safety, this year named UCLA Medical Center on its top hospitals list.

Integrated Healthcare ranks UCLA Medical Group one of California’s topperforming physician organizations for the third year in a row.

Our most recent JCAHO survey, an unannounced week-long intensive look into all of our systems, resulted in full accreditation.

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