Report on third quarter of fiscal year 2006
A Message from Dr. Karpf - May 8, 2006
The third quarter of fiscal year 2006 has come to a close. We are in a very important time as we focus on finishing our year well and planning and budgeting for the upcoming year. Continuing with the growth that we experienced in 2005, the first three quarters of this year have been very strong. March was a record month for UK HealthCare for inpatient discharges. Not only are our volumes increasing, but the financial performance has remained healthy as well. Your continued focus on providing the quality of care our patients expect in an efficient and appropriate way has strengthened our organization. This allows us to continue to better serve our patients and focus on our ambition of becoming a top 20 academic medical center by investing in our people, our programs and our facilities.
I am pleased to report to you that significant new efforts are underway in support of quality and safety at UK HealthCare. Dr. Joseph Conigliaro has been recruited to UK as an endowed chair and director of the newly established Quality, Safety and Patient Rights Program. The program is designed to bring an academic component to UK HealthCare’s efforts to provide the highest quality, safest and most efficient health care through the implementation of process improvement techniques. Quality and safety goals for the upcoming year are under development and will be communicated throughout UK HealthCare in the coming months.
See UK HealthCare's Quality Initiatives >>
Patient satisfaction has become and will continue to be a priority for us as we hope to become the provider of choice for advanced subspecialty care in Kentucky. As many of you know, we have been utilizing the Press Ganey survey tool to monitor and assess patient satisfaction with our inpatient services. It has been effective in identifying areas that are most critical for improvement and has provided a guide for focusing our efforts. Planning for the implementation of this tool for our outpatient clinics is underway.
An important part of attaining higher levels of patient satisfaction is our ability to integrate ourselves across the enterprise into an organization that is viewed as one entity to the patient. The recent completion of a significant study of our revenue cycle has highlighted a number of opportunities where we can and must improve. Dr. Perman, Dean of the College of Medicine, is beginning to organize workgroups that will help prioritize and develop strategies to tackle some of these issues.
In the academic arena, the research grants and contracts continue to grow in the College of Medicine. At the end of the third quarter total funding was up 9% from last year to $102.3 million with NIH up over 7%. College of Medicine research funding represents nearly 45% of the University’s total research funding and its continued growth over last year is significant in light of budgetary constraints on funding at the federal level.
With the excellent performance of our clinical operations and the tremendous growth of the research endeavors of the College of Medicine, UK HealthCare has created almost 1000 new jobs since 2003—an increase in the workforce of 21 percent. The increasing demand for the services provided by UK HealthCare has spurred the need for additional people—nurses, physicians, researchers and other medical providers. Not only are we an important health care resource for Kentucky, but we have proved to be a significant economic stimulus to the community as well.
Work on the patient care facility construction project is moving ahead in an impressive way. As you have probably noticed, construction on the new parking garage has begun across Limestone. The site has been cleared and excavation is beginning. Originally, we had planned the structure to have five levels with the provision for two additional floors to be added in the future. After further consideration and review of the project budget and bids, we finalized a decision to build the two additional floors now. The existing hospital parking garage has about 675 spaces; this new facility, with the two additional floors, will have approximately 1,560 spaces, adding significant new space for patients, visitors and employees over the current garage.
Another important piece of the implementation of our master facilities plan is the extension of Huguelet Drive to Virginia Avenue. This extension will reroute through traffic on Rose to Limestone via Huguelet Drive. Work is expected to begin in May with completion in the late summer.
The planning process to design the interior core and the exterior shell of the patient care facility is approaching completion. This process establishes how the infrastructure of the building such as elevators, stairs, duct work and mechanical spaces will work and where they will be located in the building. It also develops the exterior design of the facility; images of the building will be available soon.
We are also approaching the completion of schematic design on the interior fit-up of the building. This phase of the project design has confirmed the size and location of departments as they relate to phases 1A and 1B of the project. Many of you have spent long hours reviewing the operations of your units and visiting other hospitals in order to establish a plan for the new building that works efficiently and in the best possible way for our patients and their families. Periodically, our newsletter called Renewal, will be issued to inform you about the project. The newsletters and other construction updates may also be viewed from the construction link on the main UK HealthCare Web site.
As is evident, we are in the process of finishing a very strong year for UK HealthCare and are finalizing budgets for what we hope will be another strong year. The building project is moving forward, our financial performance is healthy, and we are focusing more and more on patient satisfaction and patient safety and quality. A letter like this does not provide enough space to answer all your questions so I encourage all faculty and staff to sign up at this Web site http://www.ukhealthcare.uky.edu/forstaff/breakfast.htm for an opportunity to attend one of the Breakfasts with the EVPHA where we can have a more personal discussion of matters important to you.
Michael Karpf, MD
Executive Vice President for Health Affairs