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Best Care Just Got Better!

Feb 9, 2018, 12:40 PM by Donna Sollenberger

Donna Sollenberger - headshotThis morning we received our first-quarter performance report from the 2018 Vizient Quality and Accountability Study. I am pleased to announce that UTMB currently ranks No. 2 in the study! What great news! The talent, hard work, focus and determination of our faculty, nurses, residents, staff and administrators from all parts of the organization never cease to amaze me. Thank you all for your dedication to our patients, each and every day!

Specifically, the table below shows our progress since we started Best Care in 2016, the outstanding results we had in 2017, and our current position among the 96 academic medical centers participating in this year’s study:


I was on my way to work this morning when Dr. Gulshan Sharma, our chief medical and clinical innovation officer, texted me with the results. My first reaction was one of jubilance, the next was a feeling of pride for everything you all have done, and the third was an emotional reaction as I thought about how far we have come despite a fair amount of adversity, on both personal and organizational levels. Throughout these events – including the fire in John Sealy Hospital thirteen months ago, Hurricane Harvey in late August, a rough flu season, and a tight budget – we have maintained a steadfast focus on our vision of providing the very Best Care to every patient, every time. I cannot think of a single other organization that could have been through so much and yet still manage to perform so well. Kudos to every single employee at UTMB!

Last night, I was walking by the office of someone I see regularly, and I stopped in to tell her what a great job she and her team have been doing in a specific strategic area. I had written her a note of thanks earlier in the week. As we were talking, she told me that her week had been very challenging and she was feeling a little disheartened, but when she found my note on her chair, it really lifted her spirits; she said it was just the encouragement she needed at that moment.

I thought about this last night on my drive home. Everyone, no matter what role they have in the organization, deserves recognition for the good work they do. Saying thank you can be a simple gesture. You can send a simple handwritten note or GEM Card to someone to thank them for going the extra mile or achieving exceptional results. Or, you can simply stop by a colleague’s office to tell them they are doing a great job and that you’re glad to have them on your team. Everyone needs a little encouragement! As I walk around our campuses, I am always touched when someone tells me how much my expression of gratitude meant to them. The person to whom I sent the note earlier this week told me that the sentiment of that message would last her for several months, and it reassured her at a time when she was not feeling she was making enough progress.

I hope that our recent performance report from Vizient encourages you. These results really show what an exceptional team we have at UTMB. No matter what the circumstance may be, we always rise to the occasion to achieve our goal of assuring that every patient receives the Best Care.

While I would love to write thousands and thousands of personal thank you notes to each and every one of you, I hope this message today conveys to each one of you that I thank YOU for all of your efforts in Best Care that have produced these amazing results. I hope that YOU will take a moment to celebrate your team and its accomplishments. And I hope that YOU know that you are an important part of this incredible, historic and amazing achievement!

We are, indeed, working together to work wonders!

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