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A Unified Focus on Quality and Safety Leads to a String of Accolades at UChicago Medicine AdventHealth

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A Unified Focus on Quality and Safety Leads to a String of Accolades at UChicago Medicine AdventHealth

We’re pleased to share a series of recent accolades we’ve recently received for high-quality care and patient safety.

Our recent quality and safety honors include:

  • All four hospitals earning “A” safety grades from The Leapfrog Group
  • All four hospitals winning AdventHealth’s prestigious Triumph Award for clinical excellence
  • PINC AI™ and Fortune naming UChicago Medicine AdventHealth among their 15 Top Health Systems™ nationally
  • UChicago Medicine AdventHealth Hinsdale and La Grange receiving five-star quality ratings from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and UChicago Medicine AdventHealth Bolingbrook and GlenOaks garnering four-star ratings
  • UChicago Medicine AdventHealth Hinsdale ranking among the PINC AI and Fortune 100 Top Hospitals™

What’s behind this remarkable run?

Kristine Gleason, regional director of quality and patient safety, cited four key factors that have enabled the organization to build a culture of quality and safety:


Our leaders prioritize quality and safety. “There’s a commitment from the organization to always put patient safety and quality first,” said Armand Krikorian, MD, chief medical officer for UChicago Medicine AdventHealth Bolingbrook and GlenOaks.

Leadership views this commitment as central to providing whole-person care consistently and effectively. Each of the organization’s four hospitals has a quality and safety committee that meets monthly and has subcommittees that monitor daily measures of quality and safety. An organization-wide Quality Council, including representatives from the hospitals, AdventHealth and UChicago Medicine, meets quarterly, as does a UChicago Medicine AdventHealth Board committee that focuses solely on quality and safety.


From the front lines to upper management, collaboration and shared accountability fuel our culture of quality and safety at UChicago Medicine AdventHealth. Physicians, nurses and allied health professionals are fully engaged in collaborating on a data-driven approach to quality and safety that’s rooted in the latest evidence-based practices, such as bundled-care protocols for preventing sepsis and other healthcare-associated infections. “We have constant data monitoring, as well as built-in checks and balances, and we’re always looking for ways to improve,” shares Gleason. Safety coaches in different hospital departments keep everyone rowing in the same direction.


“While it’s hard to reach the level of quality and safety that UChicago Medicine AdventHealth has achieved, it’s harder to stay there,” Gleason said. “That’s where intentionality comes in. The organization’s culture of quality and safety has engendered a shared understanding that achieving quality and safety success is a privilege, and we don’t take it for granted,” she said. “Just because we’re Leapfrog `A’ or CMS 5-star or 4-star, we can’t say, `Oh, great,’ and stop. We have to continue to be focused and intentional. Quality, safety and excellence are journeys. They’re not just one-and-done.”


An organization-wide commitment to recognizing and acknowledging mistakes, identifying their root causes, and taking steps to correct them is essential to quality and safety success. “Our board and our leaders support and encourage transparency, and everyone is committed to it,” said Gleason. “We want to share, learn and grow together. We challenge each other, asking tough and important questions, and that makes us stronger.”

Embracing High Reliability

These four inter-related factors, along with UChicago Medicine AdventHealth’s commitment to whole-person care, have created a strong foundation for its long-standing efforts to be a high reliability organization (HRO). Since 2016, the organization has taught team members high reliability principles used to avoid catastrophes and to maintain high safety levels in complex, high-risk environments such as those in the airline and nuclear power industries.

UChicago Medicine AdventHealth uses those principles, including deference to expertise, as tools to keep patients safe while aiming for zero preventable harm. Team members are trained to be responsible not only for themselves, but also for everyone around them. “Sometimes your front-line teams know best and can be the experts,” Gleason said.

Physician engagement, including physicians’ willingness to serve as expert leaders, is another key part of the organization’s HRO journey, said Bela Nand, MD, chief medical officer at UChicago Medicine AdventHealth Hinsdale and La Grange. “We are a high reliability organization because we function as one team,” she said.

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