Awards & Distinctions
NATIONALLY RANKED HOSPITAL
University Hospital is ranked among the top 50 hospitals in the nation for urology care by U.S. News & World Report, and designated as high-performing in the care of kidney and lung disease. Since 2001, U.S. News has consistently ranked University Hospital among the best hospitals in Texas and the San Antonio region. We are in elite company as the only San Antonio hospital — and one of only 3 percent of all U.S. hospitals — nationally ranked in any category.
MAGNET HEALTHCARE ORGANIZATION
University Health System is the first health system in San Antonio and South Texas to earn Magnet status from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). After its initial designation in February of 2010, University Health System’s prestigious Magnet designation was renewed for another four years in September of 2015.
In announcing the renewal, the ANCC praised a number of initiatives, including University Health System’s Nurse Residency Program, the Nurse Family Partnership program and nursing participation on the health system’s ethics committee.
Magnet designation is one of University Health proudest achievements. Only 6 percent of the nation’s hospitals — and only 35 in Texas — enjoy Magnet status. Magnet is widely accepted as the gold standard in measuring the quality of care provided to patients.
Magnet hospitals and health systems attract the best nurses and health professionals, and offer patients reassurance they are being cared for by a team with a proven track record for providing excellent care and positive outcomes for their patients. The recognition is also a reflection of the support the nursing staff receives in order to fulfill the health system’s mission.
The Magnet Recognition Program® was created in 1983 by the ANCC, a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association and the world’s largest and most prestigious nurse credentialing organization. Through a complex application and review process, including an intensive three‐day onsite survey, University Health System has successfully demonstrated its commitment to providing excellent care for all patients, sustaining nursing excellence and transforming the culture of a work environment.
UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL LEVEL I TRAUMA CENTER
The American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma again has verified University Hospital as a Level I trauma center, indicating our trauma team’s capability to provide expert, around-the-clock treatment of the most serious injuries, and to maintain its strong mission of education, research and prevention. University Hospital’s status as a Level I trauma center has been continuous since 1997, and in December 2017, the American College of Surgeons extended that verification for two more years. As one of two Level I adult trauma centers with its military partner Brooke Army Medical Center, and as the only Level I pediatric trauma center in the region, University Hospital cares for thousands of injured patients each year from throughout a 22-county region of South Texas.
Gage Award for Teen Health
University Health System’s Adolescent Health program was honored with a Gage Award for population health by America’s Essential Hospitals. We are one of only two recipients nationally. Our program offers adolescent vaccines, home visits for first-time teen mothers, STD testing and family planning services.
The award was given for our efforts to provide medically accurate sexual health information to adolescents and their families, and for encouraging strategies that promote healthy life choices. The Gage Award recognizes activities that improve the delivery, access or value of healthcare for specific populations in a community and, as a result, have improved health outcomes.
ACCREDITED CHEST PAIN CENTER
The American College of Cardiology has recognized University Hospital for its expertise and commitment in treating patients with chest pain. University Hospital was awarded Chest Pain Center Accreditation with Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) based on a rigorous onsite review of the staff’s ability to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack.
Hospitals that have earned ACC Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation have demonstrated exceptional competency in treating patients with heart attack symptoms and have primary PCI available around the clock, every day of the year. As required to meet the criteria of the accreditation designation, they streamline their systems from admission to evaluation to diagnosis and treatment. all the way through to appropriate post-discharge care and assistance in helping the patient achieve a healthier lifestyle. In addition, they have formal agreements with other facilities that regularly refer heart attack patients to them for primary PCI.
AMERICAN COLLEGE OF SURGEONS’ COMMISSION ON CANCER
University Health System’s cancer programs are accredited by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer. CoC accreditation assures patients that their hospital provides access to a range of services needed to diagnose, treat, rehabilitate and support patients with cancer and their families. CoC-accredited hospitals constantly monitor and evaluate the job they do and take corrective action when needed. CoC describes accreditation as “the hallmark of a program’s commitment to patient-centered cancer care.”
2019 GET WITH THE GUIDELINES-STROKE GOLD PLUS ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
University Hospital has again received the American Heart Association / American Stroke Association Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus and Target: Stroke Elite Plus Award. The award recognizes a hospital’s commitment to the highest quality of stroke care, including the ability to collaborate as a team and reach specific milestones in evidence-based patient care as measured in the GWTG-Stroke program. That means University Hospital demonstrated a high level of adherence to a number of treatment and quality measures, and rapid delivery of thrombolyic medicines to dissolve clots and improve blood flow over a sustained period of time.
2018 MOST WIRED
University Health System has again been named one of the nation’s Most Wired Hospitals and Health Systems, a list based on the Most Wired Survey by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine. It is the tenth time University Health System has been included on the list. The survey is designed to measure the level of IT adoption in U.S. hospitals and health systems, and is a useful tool for hospital and health system leadership to map their IT strategic plans. Most Wired hospitals lead the way in using IT to hardwire evidence-based practices to improve quality and patient safety, in converting data into action through analytics for clinical and business decision-making, and in integrating services through medical homes and health information exchanges.
CENTER OF EXCELLENCE
As a nationally recognized academic health system dedicated to advancing knowledge and improving care, University Health System has been recognized as a Center of Excellence by a number of major health plans and organizations, including Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Bridges to Excellence, Children’s Hospital Association, Cigna Life Source, Optum, Superior Health Plan Insurance and LifeTrac. These designations require expertise, value and a track record of excellence in treating complex medical conditions, and typically follow a comprehensive evaluation process.
EXCELLENCE IN HEART CARE
University Health System has been recognized by the American Heart Association as a 2017 Mission: Lifeline STEMI Receiving Center — Silver Achievement Award hospital. The award is given for applying the most up-to-date, evidence-based treatment guidelines to improve patient care and outcomes. The American Heart Association developed Mission: Lifeline to transform heart attack patient outcomes by connecting healthcare providers, prehospital providers and community stakeholders in a proactive system of care that saves and improves lives—from symptom onset through cardiac rehabilitation.
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR STANDARDIZATION
University Health System is the first healthcare system globally to be certified to the ISO 55001 standard. ISO, or the International Organization for Standardization, develops international standards to ensure quality, safety and efficiency. By obtaining this standard through ABS Quality Evaluations, University Health System demonstrates its commitment to manage its assets effectively and sustainably.
CERTIFIED AS EXPERTS IN TREATING THE MOST COMPLEX STROKE PATIENTS
University Hospital has been certified as a comprehensive stroke center by The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, becoming one of only three hospitals statewide and about 100 across the country to be so recognized by The Joint Commission. Comprehensive stroke centers are an elite group of providers capable of treating the most complex stroke patients. As a group, they are responsible for setting the national agenda in highly specialized stroke care. Comprehensive stroke centers must offer more specialized diagnostic and treatment options, along with a dedicated neuroscience intensive care unit and specially-trained staff.
A LEARNINGELITE ORGANIZATION
University Health System has earned a 2016 LearningElite gold award from Chief Learning Officer magazine for the quality of its employee learning and development programs. University Health System was No. 12 among corporate giants that included Nationwide Insurance, Western Union and Sears. University Health System also received an Editor’s Choice Award as Best Mid-Sized Company.
AIR QUALITY STEWARDSHIP AWARD
The Air Improvement Resources Committee of the Alamo Area Council of Governments awarded University Health System’s Sky Tower at University Hospital the 2016 Air Quality Stewardship Award for reducing electricity use, resulting in a reduction of nitrogen oxides emission.
The Sky Tower was designed with both occupant health and resource conservation as the driving strategies. It uses 22 percent less energy than a standard building and less water than the previous hospital that was half the size of the new hospital. The Sky Tower achieved LEED New Construction v2.2 Gold, and is the second LEED BD+C Certified Gold hospital in Texas and the 40th nationwide.
BEACON AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE
University Hospital’s Medical Intensive Care Unit received a silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. The award demonstrates continuous learning and the development of effective systems to achieve optimal patient care in five categories: Leadership structures and systems; appropriate staffing and staff engagement; effective communication, knowledge management, learning and development; evidence-based practice and processes; and outcome measurement. “The Beacon Award for Excellence recognizes caregivers in stellar units whose consistent and systematic approach to evidence-based care optimizes patient outcomes. Units that receive this national recognition serve as role models to others on their journey to excellent patient and family care,” said AACN President Teri Lynn Kiss, RN, MS, MSSW, CNML, CMSRN.
RECOGNIZED FOR HIGHEST LEVEL OF STROKE CARE
University Hospital has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment and success in providing excellent care for stroke patients by following evidence-based guidelines. According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States. Some 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.
LEED GOLD AWARD
University Health System has twice been awarded the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Gold Certification for environmentally friendly design and construction, first for the clinical pavilion at the historic Robert B. Green Campus, and again for the Sky Tower at University Hospital. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized rating system that provides third-party verification of green buildings. Those ratings are based on factors such as sustainability, water and energy efficiency, materials use and indoor air quality. The 10-story Sky Tower, which opened in April 2014, was designed by the architectural team of Perkins+Will, RVK, and Garza Bomberger & Associates. The six-story clinical building, which opened in January 2013, was designed by the architectural team of RTKL and Overland Partners.
INNOVATION IN TALENT DEVELOPMENT AWARD
University Health System Center for Learning Excellence team earned the new Innovation in Talent Development Award by the Association for Talent and Development (ATD).
The team was recognized for their excellence and contributions across the talent development field. In particular, the team was honored for their use of practices and solutions from the entire scope of workplace learning and talent development.
The ATD is the world’s largest association dedicated to those who develop talent in organizations. These professionals help others achieve their full potential by improving their knowledge, skills and abilities.
Learn more about how the Center for Learning Excellence contributes to University Health System.
A LEARNINGELITE ORGANIZATION
University Health System has earned a 2015 LearningElite gold award from Chief Learning Officer magazine for the quality of its employee learning and development programs. University Health System joins corporate giants such as Hilton Worldwide, Procter & Gamble Distributing, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and Nationwide, among the 52 organizations from across the country to be honored this year. The LearningElite program recognizes excellence among employee learning and development programs in five key measures: learning strategy, learning impact, leadership commitment, learning execution and business performance results.
ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF TEXAS OUTSTANDING CONSTRUCTION AWARD
The University Health System Capital Improvement Program was awarded first place in the large healthcare project category in the 2014 Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Texas Outstanding Construction awards program. The joint venture of Zachry Vaughn Layton received this prestigious award for the Sky Tower at University Hospital project at the AGC annual conference in July, 2015.
The Hispanic Contractors Association awarded University Health System the Esperanza Award at its 5th Annual Excellence through Diversity Gala. The Esperanza Award is given to an organization that supports diversity programs in all aspects of its operations, and whose leadership and staff continue to find ways to improve, support and recognize diversity in their projects. University Health System Capital Improvement Program contractor ZVL was also recognized at this event for its commitment to diversity on the Sky Tower project.
RANKED NO. 2 IN THE WORLD FOR BEST LEARNING WORKPLACE
University Health System is ranked second in the world for the quality and success of its workforce learning programs, according to the Association for Talent Development’s 2014 BEST Awards program, and is among 46 organizations from six countries to receive a 2014 BEST Award. University Health System competed against nearly 100 organizations from 14 countries. Every organization submitted quantitative and qualitative information about their learning and talent development practices and programs. Applications were judged in a blind review by members of the BEST Awards advisory committee, a select group of experts in the field.
“The prestigious ranking honors our employees for their initiative and commitment to learning and development,” said George B. Hernández Jr., president and CEO of University Health System. “This achievement is a reflection of the level of innovative learning that occurs across all levels of our Health System.”
GOLD LEVEL RECOGNITION THROUGH THE HEALTHY WORKPLACE RECOGNITION PROGRAM
University Health System was awarded Gold-level Recognition through the Healthy Workplace Recognition Program of the San Antonio Business Group on Health and the Mayor’s Fitness Council.
The award is given to employers for their work to improve employees’ health through their worksite wellness initiatives. Employers must demonstrate senior management support for wellness programs and a company culture that encourages health and wellness, health promotion and education, physical activity, good nutrition and smoking cessation programs, among other benefits.
2014 GET WITH THE GUIDELINES STROKE GOLD PLUS QUALITY ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
University Hospital has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get with the Guidelines-Stroke Gold plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment and success in providing excellent care for stroke patients by following evidence-based guidelines. To receive the award, University Hospital achieved 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Achievement indicators for three or more consecutive years, and achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 quality measures. These measures include clot-busting medication, anticoagulation therapy, cholesterol-reducing drugs and smoking cessation — all aimed at reducing death and disability, and improving the lives of stroke patients.
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CERTIFIED IN PALLIATIVE CARE
University Health System is only the third healthcare organization in Texas to achieve Advanced Certification in Palliative Care from the Joint Commission, the national accrediting body for hospitals. Palliative care is a holistic approach involving a multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses and other professionals to relieve pain and improve the quality of life for patients suffering from a serious illness. Its focus includes the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of patients. The Joint Commission began the Advanced Certification Program for Palliative Care in September 2011. It recognizes hospital inpatient programs that demonstrate exceptional patient and family-centered care and improves the quality of life for patients of all ages. Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas and Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth are the only other two Texas hospitals to be certified in palliative care.
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BEACON AWARD FOR CRITICAL CARE EXCELLENCE
University Hospital’s Transplant Intensive Care Unit (TICU) received the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN). The TICU team is the first intensive care unit in San Antonio and just the second transplant ICU in the nation to receive this prestigious award. Developed in 2003 by the AACN, the Beacon Award recognizes individual critical care units that exhibit high-quality standards and exceptional care for patients and families while fostering and sustaining healthy work environments.
There are about 6,000 intensive care units in the United States, and less than four percent of them have been recognized for achieving, maintaining and documenting these extremely high standards.
To receive the award, a unit must meet 42 different criteria in six categories, including: Patient outcome, Evidence-based practice and research, Leadership and organizational ethics, Excellence/innovation in recruitment and retention, Education, training, and mentoring and Promoting healing environments.
The Beacon also provides nursing care units a way to better measure systems, outcomes and environments.
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THE 2013 BEXAR COUNTY COMMUNITY HEALTH ASSESSMENT
A comprehensive report of local health that guides the development of the Community Health Improvement Plan
The Bexar County Community Health Assessment is a signature project of The Health Collaborative (THC), a convening organization bringing together the area’s healthcare systems, community organizations, and businesses to implement a more synergistic approach to solving the region’s critical community health needs. University Health System is a member of The Health Collaborative. The 2013 assessment is the fifth in a series issued by THC since 1998.
PLATINUM PERFORMANCE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
University Health System is one of just 164 hospitals nationwide to earn the Platinum Performance Achievement Award for 2012 from the American College of Cardiology Foundation’s NCDR ACTION Registry. The award recognizes University Hospital’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients, and in reaching an aggressive goal of treating patients with the standardized levels of care as outlined by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) clinical guidelines and recommendations. To earn this achievement, University Health System consistently followed the treatment guidelines in the ACTION Registry–GWTG (Get with the Guidelines) Premier for 8 consecutive quarters and met a performance standard of 90% for specific performance measures. Following these treatment guidelines improves the overall quality of care provided to ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and non- ST- elevation myocardial infarction patients (NSTEMI).
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STROKE GOLD QUALITY ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
University Health System has received the Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke Gold Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The award recognizes University Health System’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted guidelines. This marks the third year that University Health System has been recognized with a quality achievement award. Get With The Guidelines–Stroke helps University Health System’s staff develop and implement acute and secondary prevention guideline processes to improve patient care and outcomes. The program provides hospitals with a web-based patient management tool, best practice discharge protocols and standing orders, along with a robust registry and real-time benchmarking capabilities to track performance.
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SILVER COLLABORATION AWARD
University Health System’s Center for Learning Excellence has received a prestigious Learning In Practice Award from Chief Learning Officer magazine. The center was awarded the Silver Collaboration Award for accomplishments in collaboratively delivering targeted employee development programs. "The Learning In Practice awards were established to recognize transformational and visionary leaders in enterprise education," said Norm Kamikow, president and editor in chief of MediaTec Publishing Inc., which publishes Chief Learning Officer magazine. "More than 200 top learning executives and solution providers were nominated by their peers in 15 categories. The winners are the industry leaders who truly champion innovation and transform it into learning and value for their organizations."
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TOP 45 LEARNINGELITE AWARD
University Health System was presented with a 2012 LearningElite award from Chief Learning Officer magazine. University Health System was ranked number 43 in the award competition. More than 200 companies applied. Developed under the guidance of chief learning officers and senior workforce development practitioners, the CLO LearningElite is the only peer-based benchmarking initiative in the industry. This pioneering program utilizes best practices in evaluation to objectively assess both the scope and the value of the learning and development services that companies provide. It recognizes excellence in five key L&D performance indicators: learning strategy, learning execution, learning impact (internal), business performance results (external) and leadership commitment.
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TOP 25 CONNECTED
University Health System is once again among the Top 25 Most Connected Healthcare Facilities in the nation, according to Health Imaging & IT Magazine’s annual study of how U.S. hospitals and health systems integrate new technologies to improve quality and efficiency throughout their organizations. University Health System is the only healthcare organization in Texas to be included in this prestigious ranking and is, in fact, in the TOP ONE PERCENT in the country for integrating electronic medical records and advanced technologies.
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MEDASSETS PRESIDENT'S AWARD
University Health System has received the 2012 MedAssets President's Award. Within one year, the nationally recognized academic medical center saved more than $13 million and realized $14 million in cash flow improvement—through a comprehensive advisory services engagement designed to position the organization for successful, sustainable transition to value-based reimbursement. The award was presented at the 2013 MedAssets Healthcare Business Summit, held April 2-4.
University Health System was among hundreds of healthcare industry stakeholders from across the country recognized at the Summit for innovation and pioneering efforts to reduce costs, enhance operational efficiencies and improve care delivery.
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University Health System is the only non-military health system in San Antonio approved by the national Centering Healthcare Institute to provide CenteringPregnancy. CenteringPregnancy brings together groups of eight to 10 women with similar due dates. The moms-to-be meet as a group each month over the course of their pregnancies, and after delivery. With a certified midwife leading the group, they share stories and learn about what they’re going through — and what to expect next.
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SOUTH TEXAS COMPREHENSIVE EPILEPSY CENTER RECOGNIZED AS A LEVEL 4 CENTER
The South Texas Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, a partnership between University Health System and UT Health San Antonio, is the only Level 4 epilepsy center in San Antonio. A designation by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers. Level 4 is the highest designation for an epilepsy center, and is awarded to centers providing the most complex diagnostic and treatment options, including a broad range of surgical procedures. The center offers the most advanced medical, dietary and surgical therapies to patients whose seizures are not controlled by medications. Both inpatient and outpatient diagnostic evaluations are available. And as an academic and research program, it offers patients the opportunity to take part in trials of promising new medications and surgical interventions.
BRONZE AWARD FROM THE DONATION AND TRANSPLANTATION COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE
The University Transplant Center Lung Program received a Bronze Award from the Donation and Transplantation Community of Practice. This award recognizes high performing transplant programs and takes into account post-transplant survival rates, transplant rates and mortality rates of patients on the waitlist. Our center is one of just 13 lung transplant programs in the U.S. to receive this honor.
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