University Health Services gets national health care award

University Health Center

University Health Services is one of only two university health programs to receive a national award for improving its operations and services.

The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care awarded University Health Services the Bernard A. Kershner Innovations in Quality Improvement Award. The award recognizes accredited organizations that successfully implement meaningful changes in their operations to boost the quality of care, patient safety and overall efficiency through quality improvement.

Dr. Anna Hejinian, medical director at University Health Services, prepared the UO submission, "Towards a Culture of Best Practice Antibiotic Stewardship: Treatment of Acute Bronchitis," in the primary care category. 

A multiyear quality improvement study was used to establish and maintain a culture of evidence-based antibiotic use, in which providers and patients are equipped with information and educational tools to make appropriate treatment decisions using shared decision-making. 

“UHS is honored to be awarded the ‘Bernie’ this year for our work on improving an aspect of medical care,” Hejinian said. “Continuous quality improvement is a core value for UHS, and receiving national recognition for our efforts is gratifying.”

In 2017, the first year of study, health services found that its antibiotic prescribing patterns were at about the national average. By 2021, it had reduced the use of unnecessary antibiotics dramatically and began treating acute bronchitis without the use of antibiotics nearly 90 percent of the time, Hejinian said.

“Our goal moving forward is to broaden our study to include other infections that are best treated without antibiotics, including acute sinusitis, acute ear infections and sore throat,” Hejinian said.