Sharon Silow-Carroll, Aimee Lashbrook
S. Silow-Carroll, A. Lashbrook, United Hospital Center: Improving Surgical Care Through Evidence-Based Education and Standardization, The Commonwealth Fund, July 2009.
In just a few years, the United Hospital Center (UHC) rose from being one of the lower-performing U.S. hospitals on process-of-care measures to being one of the top performers. This case study focuses on UHC’s achievement in providing recommended treatment related to surgical care. UHC’s improvement can be attributed to hospital-wide strategies as well as policies and practices focused on the surgery department. Hospital-wide strategies include the creation of a subcommittee that reviews performance data and works across departments and disciplines to address performance gaps; careful data recording, assessment, and validation to gain the trust of physicians; engagement of the CEO, medical staff chairman, and medical staff; and communication of progress and challenges. Surgical care strategies include: emphasizing best-practice literature to bring surgeons on board; providing consistent data feedback, including to individual surgeons; using peer pressure when needed; and standardizing operating room procedures through standing orders, practice sets, and checklists.