NEWS | December 15, 2010

UC Davis Health System receives Spirit of Excellence Award from Modern Healthcare


UC Davis Health System has received the annual Spirit of Excellence Award for Service from Modern Healthcare magazine.

The honor, one of five announced by the magazine Monday, recognizes the health system for its innovative “patient-centered medical home” approach begun two years ago. It comes with a $5,000 cash award.

The medical home, an effort in place among physicians and staff at the family and community medicine department, is designed to improve the patient experience. In part, that happens through implementation of the electronic health record system throughout the physician network, which frees up medical assistants from clerical duties so they can be more patient-focused, according to Thomas Balsbaugh, UC Davis residency program director.

“Teamwork will be a key to both improved patient satisfaction and improved efficiency,” Balsbaugh said. “Receiving the Spirit of Excellence Award is a wonderful recognition of the hard work it takes to help practices change.”

The approach also features twice-daily team huddles among faculty, residents, nursing and medical assisting staff, clerical staff and supervisors to discuss each patients’ specific needs prior to their visit.

The patient home model already has proved effective. Patient satisfaction surveys have found that in July of this year 78 percent of patients rated their overall quality of care as ”excellent” up from 55 percent in February 2009. Similarly, 88 percent of patients said they could schedule timely appointments in July 2010, up from 29 percent of patients in February 2009.

Modern Healthcare is an award-winning healthcare publication and industry leader. It publishes online and in print.

UC Davis Health System is advancing the health of patients everywhere by providing excellent patient care, conducting groundbreaking research, fostering innovative, interprofessional education, and creating dynamic, productive partnerships with the community. The academic health system includes one of the country's best medical schools, a 645-bed acute-care teaching hospital, an 800-member physician's practice group and the new Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. It is home to a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center, an international neurodevelopmental institute, a stem cell institute and a comprehensive children's hospital. Other nationally prominent centers focus on advancing telemedicine, improving vascular care, eliminating health disparities and translating research findings into new treatments for patients. Together, they make UC Davis a hub of innovation that is transforming health for all. For more information, visit