William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital identified as Top Performer by The Joint Commission

DALLAS – November 17, 2015 – As UT Southwestern Medical Center’s William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital nears its first year of service, the 12-floor, 460-bed hospital has been identified as a Top Performer by The Joint Commission. The designation recognizes accredited hospitals that achieve a 95 percent or above on numerous safety and quality accountability measures.

Dr. Warner
Dr. John Warner, Vice President and CEO of University Hospitals at UT Southwestern

This achievement, one of several recognizing the hospital’s performance during its first year, is based on data reported for evidence-based clinical processes that are shown to be the best treatments for certain conditions. Those include heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, children’s asthma, inpatient psychiatric services, stroke, tobacco use, substance use, venous thromboembolism, immunization, and perinatal care.

“From its conception, William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital has been engineered to be at the vanguard of patient-centric care. UT Southwestern’s strong performance across these types of performance measures reflects favorably on our dedication to that commitment,” said Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, President of UT Southwestern, who holds the Philip O’Bryan Montgomery, Jr., M.D. Distinguished Presidential Chair in Academic Administration and the Doris and Bryan Wildenthal Distinguished Chair in Medical Science. “The successful delivery of our integrated approach to clinical care is an important expression of the culture of excellence that permeates all that we do on a daily basis across the Medical Center.”

The Joint Commission, founded in 1951 and the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care, accredits and certifies nearly 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. The Joint Commission created the Top Performer Program to provide both incentives and recognition to accredited hospitals that demonstrate the ability to achieve and sustain excellence in accountability measure performance.

Recognized hospitals must meet three performance criteria based on accountability data:

  • Achieve cumulative performance of 95 percent or above across all reported accountability measures;
  • Achieve performance of 95 percent or above on each and every reported accountability measure where there are at least 30 denominator cases; and
  • Have at least one core measure set that has a composite rate of 95 percent or above, and (within that measure set) all applicable individual accountability measures have a performance rate of 95 percent or above.

The expertise, training, and commitment of all those directly and indirectly involved in patient care are crucial factors in achieving these levels, said Dr. John Warner, Vice President and CEO of University Hospitals at UT Southwestern.

“Recognition including that from The Joint Commission favorably reflects our daily resolve to deliver the best possible care to each patient that comes to us,” said Dr. Warner, Professor of Internal Medicine who holds the Jim and Norma Smith Distinguished Chair for Interventional Cardiology, and the Audre and Bernard Rapoport Chair in Cardiovascular Research. “Strong performance on data-driven safety and quality measures can serve as a valuable tool for both patients and hospitals, helping to inform decisions about optimal treatments, therapies, and procedures.”

Clements University Hospital, which opened Dec. 6, 2014, was planned and built with quality, safety, and efficiency as top priorities, by incorporating design elements that directly contribute to enhancing the expertise of UT Southwestern. For example:

  • The distinctive W shape reduces the distances that caregivers must travel to reach patients, creates better adjacencies for care providers, and better visibility for team members to see each other, all of which contribute to reduced confusion and noise.
  • All-private rooms, back-stage organization of deliveries and supplies, and innovative chute systems that quickly whisk trash and used linen away from patient areas are incorporated into the building to help prevent infections.
  • Nursing stations located in-between rooms permit easy and quick access and visual confirmation without unneeded disturbances.
  • A sophisticated air filtration system provides fresher, cleaner air throughout the hospital and further contributes to reducing the risk of infections.

The Joint Commission recognition aligns with other recent honors for UT Southwestern University Hospitals.

Clements University Hospital ­recently received a national Rising Star Quality Leadership award from the University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) for the hospital’s quality and safety efforts. That award recognizes significant improvements in ranking in the UHC’s annual Quality and Accountability Study, which identifies exemplary performance in patient safety, mortality, clinical effectiveness, and equity of care among academic medical centers. UT Southwestern now ranks within in the top 20.

Zale Lipshy University Hospital received two major patient satisfaction awards from Press Ganey, a national consulting firm specializing in health care performance: the Pinnacle of Excellence Award and the Guardian of Excellence Award. It was the third consecutive year for Zale Lipshy University Hospital to receive the Pinnacle of Excellence Award, which recognizes leading health care facilities that achieve and maintain high levels of excellence in patient satisfaction for multiple years. About 40 organizations receive that award annually. The Guardian of Excellence Award, a nationally recognized symbol of achievement in health care, honors organizations that have sustained performance in the top 5 percent of all Press Ganey clients over a year’s period in clinical quality, patient experience, employee engagement, or physician engagement. Zale Lipshy received the award for outstanding performance in clinical quality.

UT Southwestern is on the national “Most Wired” hospitals list for a fifth consecutive year, thanks to its use of such technologies as databases to help physicians better identify high-risk patients and tools that keep physicians, nurses, and patients communicating effectively. The “Most Wired” list is distributed annually by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine, the flagship publication of the American Hospital Association. In addition, UT Southwestern has been ranked one of the “Most Connected Hospitals” for 2015-2016 by U.S. News & World Report, which recognizes U.S. hospitals that demonstrated an ability to share data with providers, improved patient safety through computerization, and engaged patients by providing them with electronic access to their medical information. UT Southwestern is one of just 10 hospitals in Texas to make the list, and nationally, among 159 medical centers in 37 states.

“It is gratifying to see consistent recognition across these various measures, particularly at Clements University Hospital in its first year,” Dr. Warner said. “Taken together, they provide a measure of confirmation that initial decisions and investments we made in the design and technology, and the decisions our caregivers make each day, are having the desired effect in improving the care and experience of our patients and their families.”

About UT Southwestern Medical Center

UT Southwestern, one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education. The institution’s faculty includes many distinguished members, including six who have been awarded Nobel Prizes since 1985. The faculty of more than 2,700 is responsible for groundbreaking medical advances and is committed to translating science-driven research quickly to new clinical treatments. UT Southwestern physicians provide medical care in 40 specialties to about 92,000 hospitalized patients and oversee approximately 2.1 million outpatient visits a year.


Media Contact: Russell Rian


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