Ann Blackford

UK Nursing Care Rises to No. 1 in National Patient Satisfaction Survey

Published: Feb 28, 2014

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 28, 2014) − A patient's experience while in the hospital is often defined by the care they receive from nursing staff.  A nurse may be the first and most frequent interaction a patient has with a clinical professional while hospitalized.  The care a nurse provides can make a significant impact on how well and how quickly a patient is able to recover.


UK HealthCare nurses demonstrated outstanding patient care when they were recently ranked No. 1 out of 102 UHC (University Health Consortium) academic medical centers for the Nursing Care Aggregate HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) domain.


The HCAHPS survey is the first national, standardized, publicly reported survey of patients' perspectives of hospital care.


UK Chandler Hospital demonstrated the greatest improvement in HCAHPS scores among the 41 academic medical centers that participated in the recent University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) Patient Experience Improvement Collaborative.


The hospital achieved an aggregate increase of 19.08 percent for the project’s focus areas of nursing communications, staff responsiveness, cleanliness and quietness.


“Our strategic agenda of quality, safety and service is foundational,” said Colleen Swartz, chief nurse executive for UK HealthCare. “Our nursing vision of “every patient, every time” reinforces the behaviors we always expect our staff to demonstrate. Nursing practice at UK HealthCare is strong and present and our patients’ experience reflects that work.”


UK HealthCare presented a web conference in December to UHC colleagues as part of an educational UHC improvement collaborative about the successful application of the patient centered culture at UK. The online conference, "See Blue, Every Patient, Every Time," included approaches for successfully implementing best practices, enhancing the patient experience and improving HCAHPS scores.


“Health care is really about human relationships,” says Ann Smith, chief administrative officer for UK HealthCare. “The relationships that put the patient in the center make for the strongest experience. The relationships within the work group and care team are vitally important.


“It takes a strong sense of team, supporting each other to focus on the care of patients, to provide a high-quality, high-‘touch’ experience,” she adds. “The UK HealthCare staff is proving how that sort of teamwork benefits those we serve.”


UK's Markey Cancer Center is but one example of how UK HealthCare nurses work together as a team with doctors and other providers to provide an environment of healing and outstanding medical care.


Sophia Wright Brown, the patient care manager of chemotherapy infusion at Markey Outpatient, said the integration of the patent experience into the delivery of care is important to the staff.


"The level of teamwork displayed is remarkable," Brown said. "The Office of Patient Experience observed in our area and noted the level of individual consideration given to the patients, and the excellent relationship the patients have with the staff. The chemotherapy staff form very special bonds with patients and their caregivers."


Brown adds that the chemotherapy staff feels extremely fortunate to serve a very unique and special patient population.


"Our oncology patients are particularly vulnerable when receiving treatment and their satisfaction is our focus," said Dr. Frederick Ueland, professor and director of Gynecologic Oncology at Markey Cancer Center and vice chair in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the UK College of Medicine. "The survey results demonstrate that the Markey staff is truly exceptional at providing a supportive and personalized infusion experience."


Laura Marsh, a chemotherapy infusion nurse at UK, says that she wants to make a difference in someone’s life by providing compassionate care to patients and their families. 


"As an oncology R.N., I am able to spend quality time with the patients, which in turn builds lasting relationships.  I also am given the chance to interact with patients, medical staff, pharmacy, and physicians which allows me to add to my knowledge base.  Oncology nursing provides me with constant excitement and challenges with the ever changing treatment options and our diverse patient population. Every day is new and different."


Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or


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