According to the alliance's website, the Hospital of Choice awards recognize hospitals "based on their competence, public communication, reputation, good citizenship, and customer service skills exhibited by staff members." A key element of AAHCP's evaluation is the use of "secret shoppers" to test hospitals' service and learn about services available at the hospital. One example, according to AAHCP's website: secret shoppers will call the hospital's phone system to evaluate the knowledge and helpfulness of the hospital's staff.
In addition to the secret shoppers, AAHCP also reviews hospital websites, conducts annual physician surveys and reviews recognition and awards received by hospitals.
R. Edward Howell, vice president and CEO of UVA Medical Center, said the award reflects how staff members work each day to provide compassionate, quality care. "Our employees are dedicated to caring for our patients," he said. "I'm pleased to see their hard work recognized."
UVA is one of just more than 200 hospitals nationally to receive a 2011-2012 customer service award from AAHCP.