A Culture of Quality
Our commitment to excellence is reflected in our achievements and ongoing efforts to improve the patient experience. Our culture of quality puts patients first and delivers the best care possible. Our goal is nothing less than to be the best hospital in the nation for patient care and service.
When you visit The University of Kansas Health System, you'll learn firsthand why our culture of quality sets us apart from other hospitals in Kansas and Kansas City.
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Improving the patient experience
A health system's reputation is only as good as a patient's experience. That's why our health system embraces a service-minded culture of courtesy, kindness and exceptional care.
During a hospital stay, patients can order from a room service menu customized to include input from their physician. As a patient, you can order what you want, when you want, and the meal is delivered within 45 minutes. Each item is healthfully prepared and attractively served.
To ensure we're providing the best service possible, our dietetics and nutrition managers, supervisors and staff conduct meal rounds on every unit. They check on delivery times, staff interaction and whether patients are satisfied with the quality and presentation of their meals.
On our main campus, valet parking services are available just outside the main entrance on Cambridge Street. Courteous attendants will park your car, then retrieve it upon request. The service is one less thing to worry about for people with disabilities or those who don't feel well.
Staff members are encouraged to surround each patient with compassion and personal advocacy. All are empowered to respectfully listen and empathize with the challenges our patients and their family members face.
Our nurses, social workers and spiritual care specialists have exceptional skills, often working as a team to provide information and support without being asked for it. They're prepared to help people deal with even the most complex situations.
To help employees understand the challenges our patients and their loved ones face, staff members attend a day of customer service training when they join the health system.
More than 10,000 employees have participated in these free-flowing classes since they began in 1999. Sessions are designed to nurture our organization-wide culture of courtesy, kindness and exceptional care.
Staff members learn to listen and to empathize with our patients and their family members. They are also empowered to solve problems whenever possible on behalf of patients and loved ones.
Families call our surgical nurse liaisons their lifelines. When a loved one is having surgery, our surgical and cardiovascular nurse liaisons act as go-betweens, updating family members on each patient's progress.
Nurse liaisons are experienced surgical nurses who travel between the health system's operating and procedure rooms and their respective waiting areas. Because of the complexity and length of many surgeries, physicians and staff cannot leave the operating rooms to regularly update concerned family members and friends.
Instead, nurse liaisons provide periodic reports and explanations to put family members at ease. Liaisons perform their critical role 16 hours a day, Monday through Friday.
This program, designed to improve patient care on medical and surgical units, was initiated by the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. It encompasses:
- Safety and reliability
- Care team vitality
- Increased value
Any staff member can initiate projects within this program. Progress is assessed daily, and after an assessment period, ideas are adopted, abandoned or accepted.
Departments continually test new ideas, including these successful ones:
- Safety huddle
All staff in a patient care area meet during shift change. The outgoing team informs the incoming team of any outstanding concerns. These huddles have also become a popular team-building activity.
- Quiet time
Lights are dimmed and noise is minimized during certain hours of the day and night so patients can rest more comfortably.
- Supplies at the bedside
Nurses suspected they spent too much time walking back and forth to supply cabinets. They discovered that in one year nurses walk the distance from Kansas City to Los Angeles and back, or approximately 2,714 miles! Many departments now stock frequently used supplies at the bedside, saving steps and freeing more time to spend caring for patients.