UMass Health Services Rated Highly in Survey

AMHERST — University Health Services (UHS) at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst offers four-star care in a number of areas that matter most to patients, according to a survey by Mass. Health Quality Partners (MHQP), a coalition of health leaders promoting improvements in the quality of health care services across the Commonwealth.

The top rating indicates that UHS did better than at least 85{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of the doctors’ offices in the survey. The fully accredited health center serves students, faculty, and staff, offering comprehensive care and referral services.

The survey, conducted from July through September 2005, examines nine aspects of health care, some of them focusing on the doctor-patient relationship and others on the organization structure itself and the way it provides access to care.

“The survey results help us better understand what’s important to patients and how we’re performing,” said Bernette A. Melby, UHS executive director. “Our ongoing quality improvement efforts appear to be effective, as evidenced by the four-star ratings for many of the measures. I want to thank all the UHS patients who took the time to share their experiences.”

UHS scored only two out of four stars for access-related issues such as wait times and appointment scheduling, which is statistically equivalent to the statewide benchmark, and the only area of the survey in which UHS did not exceed the state average.

The program’s internal quality improvement processes had previously identified access issues, but even before the survey data was released, new efforts were underway to improve the situation. “UHS is piloting an open-access model on a limited basis,” Melby said.