Shands at the University of Florida

  • Location: Gainesville, FL
  • Award: Evidence-Based Leadership Healthcare Organization of the Month
  • Awarded: April 2006

Shands at the University of Florida is a 626-bed academic medical center providing highly specialized, complex medical care. Established in 1958 in Gainesville, Fla., Shands at UF is one of nine hospitals in the Shands HealthCare system, a private not-for-profit health system located in north central Florida.

In 2004, Shands HealthCare engaged Studer Group to advance a culture of service and operational excellence and launched “BEST: Building Excellent Service Together” throughout the system. BEST is a systemwide, employee-focused program that supports the system’s mission and vision and sets up a foundation for everything we do at Shands.

Shands at UF leadership and BEST team leaders have worked to hardwire rounding and employee thank-you notes and have implemented Key Words at Key Times, Pre- and Post-Visit Phone Calls, and Selection and the First 90 days. By implementing Studer Principles and tools, focusing on our goals and the commitment of our leaders and staff led to the following successes:


  • Shands at UF has consistently scored in the 95-97 percentile in the last five quarters for “Likelihood to Recommend”.
  • The ED Level I Trauma Unit has consistently exceeded their goal of 30 percentile in “Overall Quality”.
  • Participation in the annual employee engagement survey increased from 71 percent to 83 percent.


  • Shands at UF is one of the first health system facilities of its size to
    implement the Leadership Evaluation Module.
  • Inpatient satisfaction results for PICU and 55 MS are in the top 10 percent nationally.


  • Received a $1 million donation to Shands at UF Cancer Hospital


  • The employee turnover rate decreased between the third and fourth quarter of 2005.
  • The turnover rate decreased from 14.1 percent to 13.7 percent.
  • The registered nurse turnover rate decreased from 13.2 percent to 12.5 percent.
  • More than 5,000 employee nominations were received during the first year of the systemwide employee reward and recognition program “Customer Service is the Key”
  • A former Shands Children’s Hospital patient is the 2006 March of Dimes WalkAmerica National Ambassador.


  • Officials for Shands HealthCare and the University of Florida Health Science Center recently announced plans to establish a new cancer hospital on the Shands at UF campus.
  • Received the State of Florida award for exceeding the goal for organ donor conversion rates.

Shands at UF has four Centers of Excellence in Cancer, Cardiovascular, Neurological and Transplant services. Approximately 550 University of Florida faculty physicians practice in 110 areas of specialty care. Shands at UF operates a Level I Trauma Center and Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Shands at UF was designated as a Magnet Hospital for nursing excellence by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, is ranked as a U.S.News & World Report Best Hospital and is ranked a top-100 heart hospital by Solucient.

Print Page