A Culture of Excellence

UConn Health employees give examples of high-quality, patient-focused care.

During a forum focused on customer-service improvement initiatives, UConn Health leaders celebrated recent successes and learned and discussed new tools to hardwire excellence.

“The transformation at UConn Health is not just about the new buildings under construction on our campus. It’s also about some very encouraging changes in the way we’re taking care of our patients,” said Dr. Denis Lafreniere, medical director of UConn Health’s outpatient practice.

The meeting was part of an ongoing customer service enhancement project that started in 2012 and has now featured six educational forums for leadership. Throughout the meeting, video testimonials were shown featuring leaders from hospital and outpatient practices who shared stories of how the UConn Health team has recently exceeded expectations to help patients. The stories highlighted extraordinary accomplishments by a range of providers, including nurses, administrators, physicians and medical assistants. In future meetings, testimonials from leaders in other areas of UConn Health will be featured.

For example, the adult Intensive Care Unit (ICU) has now gone more than a year without a single central line-associated blood stream infection – which is one of the most common health care associated infections nationally.

“This success is attributable to work among interdisciplinary teams within ICU, adherence to clinical pathways, and a laser focus on every patient,” said Anne Diamond, interim chief executive officer of UConn Health’s John Dempsey Hospital.

“Because our commitment is ‘the patient comes first,’ we are working diligently to align our approaches with proven techniques from highly reliable industries so every patient receives the best possible care,” she added.

Lisa Hook, an administrator for the new UConn Health medical office in Storrs, shared a story in one of the video testimonials about how a nurse in Storrs helped a patient get safely to their car after a procedure. “You could see the patient was so grateful … it was an example of a nurse going above and beyond to provide personalized service. It’s what we do at UConn Health,” she said.

Attendees were challenged to take the tools and skills that were shared in large and small group discussions back to their respective teams.  Some of the most thought-provoking ideas and advice came from the keynote speaker, Bob Murphy, a national health care presenter and former chief executive officer of Baptist Hospital in Pensacola, Fla.

Murphy urged UConn Health leaders to “live and breathe the mission and values of a service organization” and to be relentlessly committed to uphold the best interest of patients. He provided a very clear check list for managers to integrate into their daily work.

“If we continue to work together and keep our attention on attaining excellence, we will continue to break records, save lives and enhance health care for our region,” Diamond added.

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