UAB Medicine

  • Location: Birmingham, AL
  • Award: Evidence-Based Leadership Healthcare Organization of the Month
  • Awarded: March 2012

UAB Medicine is proud to receive the Healthcare Organization of the Month award for March of 2012. Over the past year, our organization has been Reaching for Excellence, and we recognize that this distinction means our patients and their families acknowledge the impact of our efforts on the care we deliver. We are proud that UAB Medicine is known by our patrons as a patient-centered place of healing.

About UAB Medicine

UAB Medicine is the largest academic medical center in Alabama and one of the largest in the United States, providing patients with a complete range of primary and specialty care services, as well as the most up-to-date treatments and innovations in health care. UAB Medicine is internationally recognized for our mission: to provide the highest level of patient care, outstanding education of medical professionals, and the advancement of science in medicine through groundbreaking research in areas such as oncology, neurology, neurosurgery, transplantation, cardiology, trauma and burn treatment, rehabilitation, immunobiology, virology, gene therapy, and targeted immunotherapy. With a dedicated team of more than 15,000 employees and 1,110 physicians, UAB Medicine cares for thousands of patients from across Alabama, the country, and the globe each year.

UAB Medicine is comprised of several entities and world-class facilities, including UAB Hospital, the only Level I trauma center in Alabama; UAB Callahan Eye Hospital, the region's only Level I Ocular Trauma Center, providing 24/7 emergency care for eye trauma; The Kirklin Clinic and its satellite clinics, and the UAB School of Medicine. Several specialty centers, including our state-of-the-art Cardiovascular Center; the Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of only 40 in the nation; and the UAB Comprehensive Transplant Center, work to provide the latest in treatments and research to our patients and the medical community.

UAB Medicine has received several notable accolades in the past year, including:

  • Recognition as one of the nation's Best Hospitals in 2011 by U.S. News and World Report. Nine specialties placed in the top 50, including rheumatology; gynecology; nephrology; pulmonology; urology; neurology and neurosurgery; geriatrics; ear, nose, and throat; and gastroenterology. Three other specialties were classified as high performing.
  • Magnet Designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, signifying UAB Hospital's place in an elite group of fewer than 400 hospitals around the world acknowledged as centers for nursing excellence. UAB has maintained this designation since 2002.
  • 291 UAB physicians in 55 specialties were recognized among America's Best Doctors as voted by their peers.
  • UAB Hospital and UAB Callahan Eye Hospital were two of five Alabama health care institutions to make WomenCertified's top 100 hospitals based on female patient satisfaction
  • UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center received a renewed grant of $27.5 million for another 5-year designation as an NCI-designated CCC.
  • Women & Infants Services brand marketing campaign won a Gold Award in the national Aster Awards competition.
  • Women & Infants Services brand marketing campaign won a Silver Award in the national Healthcare Marketing Report competition
  • Receiving the Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star certification for the UAB Women & Infants Center/Hazelrig-Salter Radiation Oncology Center.
  • A $2.3 million SPORE grant awarded to the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center and the UAB Division of Neurosurgery by the National Cancer Institute for the research and development of new brain tumor therapies.
  • A UAB research study on brain tumors has been named one of the top clinical research advances of 2011 by the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Reaching for Excellence

Reaching for Excellence is the overarching leadership development arm of UAB Medicine's AMC 21 Strategic Plan to create the preferred academic medical center for the 21st century. Through hardwiring Evidence-Based Leadership tools and tactics, UAB Medicine has aligned our system goals and objectives with a focus on improving quality, safety, and the patient experience. Through the Studer Group, UAB Medicine is implementing proven practices, providing hands-on coaching, and engaging in intensive leadership development institute sessions, with more than 750 UAB Medicine leaders attend Leadership Development Institute sessions and began rounding for engagement, rounding with purpose, and training their teams on AIDET. Following Studer Group principles helps us achieve our AMC21 objectives, including alignment and integration, innovation, satisfaction, quality, and financial performance. Reaching for Excellence at UAB Medicine means enhancing communication among departments to help faculty and staff excel. This collaborative spirit will help us determine new ways to improve quality, our work environment, and the care we give to our patients. At UAB Medicine, we believe that providing our employees purpose, worthwhile work, and an opportunity to make a difference, will help us to always exceed the expectations of our patients and deliver a higher quality of care.


UAB Hospital Inpatient:

  • UAB Hospital improved from the 18th percentile in 2009 to the 81st percentile in 2011, according to the Press Ganey UHC database. UAB Hospital implemented several initiatives to improve inpatient satisfaction, including initiating a *55 Service Feedback Line (July – Sept 2009), implementing an organizational wide Service Recovery Program (Apr – June 2010), introducing hotel-style room service (July – Sept 2010), and initiating Rounding for Outcomes, Patient Rounding, Interdepartmental Survey, and AIDET (Apr – Dec 2011).
  • UAB Hospital received two What's Right in Health Care® HCAHPS awards:
    • Always Quiet at Night Award
    • Yes, Patients Would Definitely Recommend Award
  • UAB Hospital received HealthGrades “Outstanding Patient Experience Award,” awarded to only 339 hospitals nationally and 12 in Alabama. Selection criteria are based on HCAHPS data reported via CMS from April 2009 to March 2010.
  • The Women & Infants Center was named one of the Top 100 Hospitals for Patient Satisfaction by WomenCertified®. Selection is based on HCAHPS results and WomenCertified® analysis of criteria deemed most important to women for patient satisfaction.

HCAHPS Domain - Percentile Rank vs. UHC Peer Group (n=171)

October 2010 to
February 2011

October 2011 to
February 2012

Rate hospital 9 or 10



Recommend hospital - 'definitely yes'



Communication with Nurses



Response of Hospital Staff



Communication with Doctors



Hospital Environment (% Always Quiet and Clean)



Pain Management



Communication about Medications



Always given Discharge Information



UAB Emergency Departments:

  • UAB Hospital ED scores have improved from the 24th percentile in 2009 to the 63rd percentile in 2011, according to the Press Ganey UHC database.
  • UAB Hospital Highlands ED reached the 99th percentile in the Press Ganey UHC database for the first time in organizational history (Oct – Dec 2011).

Callahan Eye Hospital:

  • Callahan Eye Hospital was named a Top Performer in the 2010 and 2011 when they received the Press Ganey Summit Award for achieving patient experience outcomes over the 94th percentile nationally for three consecutive years..
  • Callahan Eye has received citations for most improved patient satisfaction in the ASU and ED in 2011.

UAB Medicine Physician Engagement:

  • UAB Medicine physicians rounded for outcomes and physician champions trained their peers on AIDET and build AIDET into all GME curriculum.
  • Department of Medicine MVPs—The Department of Medicine at UAB instituted a program of designation of physician champions within each Division to further the alignment of evidence based leadership practices within the Department to insure enhanced quality, safety and patient experience.
  • Graduate Medical Education—The Graduate Medical Education program in the School of Medicine and at Callahan Eye Hospital has adopted AIDET training as part of the core series for learning for more than 850 residents and house staff members.
  • UAB Hospital and Kirklin Clinic Medical Directors—Job descriptions for physician medical directors within these entities have adopted rounding standards and behaviors centered around LDI attendance and stoplight reporting as part of the incentive program for physician leaders in these roles.

The Kirklin Clinic (managed medical practices):

  • The Kirklin Clinic (TKC) developed an AIDET® training program for current employees and new hires. All Kirklin Clinic employees have received training and completed a competency, and a validation program has been implemented to ensure all employees are utilizing the AIDET® principles. TKC recently began AIDET® training for physicians, as well as monthly small group discussions for physicians and our Studer Coach.
  • A Reaching for Excellence Committee was formed to bring leaders and front line staff together from throughout the clinic to discuss and share best practices to improve the Patient Experience in TKC.
  • In January 2011, a Patient Experience Taskforce was created to give our patients an opportunity to share their experience at our facility with Leaders from TKC. The committee consists of leadership from various departments, along with eight patients/family members who volunteer their time to assist with decision making regarding the creation of a patient-friendly environment. Leadership shares their respective special projects with our patient members and asks for feedback and suggestions. Some of these exciting projects have included digital way finding, online bill pay, pastoral care needs, and volunteer services in the clinic. We are excited about the Patient Experience Taskforce, and look forward to increasing our patient involvement to garner a greater understanding of the patient perspective at our facility.
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