Newswise — (Salt Lake City) –– University of Utah Health Care (UUHC) ranks among the nation’s top academic medical centers, having won the University HealthSystem Consortium’s (UHC) Quality Leadership Award now five years running — a winning streak matched by only one other health system in the U.S.

The award signifies a top-10 finish in UHC’s prestigious quality and safety rankings, a comparison of teaching hospitals based on quality measures, patient safety and satisfaction indictors, mortality rates and readmissions. This year, the University ranked sixth out of 104 participating medical centers.

“These rankings are a measure of how we compare to our peers. Academic medical centers care for the sickest patients and a disproportionate share of the financially needy and uninsured,” said Vivian S. Lee, senior vice president for health sciences at the University of Utah, dean of the University’s School of Medicine, and CEO of University of Utah Health Care. “Being in the top 10 in quality means our community has access to some of the best health care in the country.”

The 2014 Quality Leadership award winners were announced Oct. 23 at the UHC Annual Conference 2014 in Las Vegas, NV. This year’s top-10 list was expanded to include all 12 teaching hospitals to earn a 5-star rating. The scores between the 10th and 12th place finishers were not statistically different.

The 2014 winners are:• NYU Langone Medical Center• Mayo Clinic Hospital – Rochester• The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center• Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak• Rush University Medical Center• University of Utah Health Care• The University of Kansas Hospital • Emory University Hospital• University of Missouri Health Care • Cleveland Clinic• Houston Methodist Hospital• Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center “UHC commends these academic medical centers for their strong commitment to providing high-quality patient care throughout their clinical enterprises,” said Irene M. Thompson, UHC’s president and chief executive officer. “As evidenced by their performance on the measures in the Quality and Accountability Study, these organizations exhibit the fundamental characteristics—shared sense of purpose, successful leadership style, accountability mechanisms, focus on results, and collaboration—of top-performing academic medical centers in health care delivery.”

“Most academic medical centers have areas of expertise in which they excel,” said Sean Mulvihill, M.D., chief executive officer of University of Utah Medical Group and associate president for clinical affairs at University of Utah Health Care. “The Quality Leadership Award is unique in that it recognizes health centers for providing outstanding care to all patients across all clinical lines.”

The University also received the 2014 Supply Chain Performance Excellence Award for raising the quality of its care while lowering costs. Medical centers were judged on their efficient use of supplies and inpatient medications and for their operating margins.

“We have ceaselessly pursued value, which we define as better outcomes, better service and managed costs for our patients and the health system as a whole,” said David Entwistle, CEO of University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics. “Providing the best care at the lowest cost requires collaboration and the alignment of everyone around a shared goal. Our success reflects the talent and tireless commitment of our management and 13,000 physicians and staff.”

UHC’s Quality and Accountability Study is one of the most rigorous available. It uses readmission rates and Joint Commission’s core measures as part of its effectiveness score: acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care improvement, outpatient, immunization, emergency department, stroke, and venous thromboembolism. It looks at mortality not just across eight major service lines, but also comprehensively across 27 service lines. It investigates half-a-dozen patient safety indicators from the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality and federal infection surveillance metrics. It evaluates the efficiency of the health system based on per-patient costs and length of stay vs. expected. Finally, it tabulates patient satisfaction data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ HCAHPS surveys sent to patient homes.

About University of Utah Health CareUniversity of Utah Health Care is the only academic health care system in the Intermountain West. The system provides care for Utahns and residents of five surrounding states in a referral area encompassing more than 10 percent of the continental United States. The system receives more than one million outpatient visits and nearly 30,000 inpatient admissions annually. Visit for more information.

About UHCUHC is an alliance of the nation’s leading nonprofit academic medical centers, which are focused on delivering world-class patient care. Formed in 1984 and based in Chicago, UHC fosters collaboration with and among its 117 academic medical center and 310 affiliated hospital members through its renowned programs and services in the areas of comparative data and analytics, performance improvement, supply chain management, strategic research, and public policy. UHC helps its members achieve excellence in quality, safety, and cost-effectiveness. For more information, visit