Best Practices


I now look back on my experience and feel so blessed. There's not a doubt in my mind that my outcome would have been different had I not found my way to
The University of Kansas Hospital.

-Barbara Brown, breast cancer survivor

Read Barbara's success story.

At The University of Kansas Health System, we continually work to improve care and save lives. We adhere to best practices to improve the quality of care for patients in Kansas City and throughout the nation. This includes developing new strategies to prevent infections, avoid injuries and respond quickly to emergencies.

Our dedication to quality is the reason we help more people and save more lives. Request your appointment online or call us at 913-588-1227, or toll free at 844-323-1227.

Quality initiatives

Here are some ways we have worked to reduce mortality.

Reducing door-to-balloon times

Door-to-balloon time refers to the amount of time elapsing from the moment a heart attack patient arrives at the Emergency Department to when a balloon opens the patient's blocked artery. National guidelines recommend a door-to-balloon interval of no more than 90 minutes, and our heart team consistently averages well under this recommendation.

Rapid Response Team (RRT)

We have put Rapid Response Teams in place to speed treatment to anyone in the hospital or on campus. Each team consists of a respiratory therapist, a critical care nurse and other appropriate specialists. RRTs can be activated by staff or visitors if they are concerned about someone's condition. Having an active RRT program in place strongly increases the likelihood of survival.

Acute Stroke Response Team

Our Acute Stroke Response Team averages five minutes from the moment they receive a page, to arriving at the patient's bedside. This is dramatically quicker than the recommended national standard. The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association recognized our program's excellent results with a Gold Sustained Performance Award. To receive this honor, we had to reach at least 85 percent compliance in seven core stroke treatment measures and sustain that performance level for 24 consecutive months.

Early diagnosis and treatment of sepsis

Our critical care team determined the best ways to identify sepsis and treat it quickly. We built screening tools into our care processes to help staff recognize sepsis in all patients. When patients have sepsis, our staff immediately takes action using a specific treatment plan.

To help other hospitals fight sepsis, we have partnered with the Kansas Sepsis Project. The initiative aims to reduce the mortality from severe sepsis in Kansas by 10 percent by the end of 2015. Through the program, physicians, extenders and nurses in hospitals throughout Kansas are trained to recognize the signs of severe sepsis and treat it aggressively and successfully.

Ventilator-associated pneumonia prevention

Our patients are among the most acutely sick in the region, yet they fare significantly better than the national average in ventilator-associated pneumonia. That's because respiratory therapists and nurses use a multidisciplinary "bundle" of evidence-based measures to prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia. 

Falls prevention

The University of Kansas Health System has an ongoing initiative to reduce patient fall risks and injuries. Our goal is to have no patient injured as the result of a fall. To do this, we have established a Falls Prevention Program to improve patient communication, monitoring and care. 

Hand hygiene programs

At The University of Kansas Health System, we have implemented programs to increase hand washing, including:

  • Infection-control education
  • Hand-washing audits to measure compliance
  • Promotional campaigns to keep hand hygiene top of mind
  • Friendly competition on nursing units