The Making of a World-Class Health System: How UCSF Health Excels Amid Today’s Industry Demands

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At 9 a.m. sharp on a Thursday, a team of clinic providers and administrative staff at UC San Francisco’s Spine Center gathered around a series of data-drenched posters tacked to the wall outside a row of exam rooms.

“The good news is we’ve surpassed our targets in two areas of improving the patient experience, and we continue to show progress week by week,” said Omar Flamenco, practice manager for the neuro-spine clinic. “We’ve done the best this month we’ve ever done historically, but demand has also increased, so we need to continue improving our referral process. We’re not going to settle for what we have right now.”

This type of meetings, called a huddle, occur daily across more than 70 outpatient clinics at UCSF Health, bringing every employee into the process of constantly looking for ways to do things better.

“I think to get to the top and remain there, you must have an unrelenting focus on the fundamentals,” said Mark Laret (center), president and CEO of UCSF Health. Photo by Noah BergerEfficiencies are key for health care organizations. In the last decade, a historic revolution has gripped the industry, and with it, a continuous stream of challenges has emerged. Health care providers across the country must contend with higher costs and lower reimbursements, while the individuals, employers and government programs that pay for services rightfully expect more patient-centered, effective and affordable care.

“I think to get to the top and remain there, you must have an unrelenting focus on the fundamentals – the quality and safety of the care you deliver, the experience patients have, and the cost of what it takes to provide services in today’s health care market,” said Mark Laret, UCSF Health’s president and CEO. “We have been aggressive on every one of those fronts, and we just strive to keep …

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