The University of Utah Hospital, recently named in a national book as one of the "Best Hospitals in America," has also received an A-plus rating from Mountain West residents.

A recent Dan Jones & Associates poll, released Monday at the U. Institutional Council meeting, shows that the public's perception of the U. Hospital is "very favorable and that there are no major negative perceptions to overcome."However, LDS Hospital enjoyed the highest name recall of any hospital on the Wasatch Front. The U. Hospital recognition was highest with Salt Lake County residents aged 18 to 24.

"We were pleased with the survey because we try to do a good job up here," said hospital spokesman John Dwan. "We are grateful the feedback was very positive; that there were no major negative perceptions about the University Hospital."

Dwan said the hospital commissioned Jones to do the extensive in-depth public opinion survey, asking about all aspects of the hospital and its operation. "We were looking for hard data on how the hospital is perceived by people and how we could do a better job," he said.

Respondents said quality of care, quality of physicians and high technology are the three strongest points about the U. Hospital.

This, hospital officials said, indicates that "we are achieving our multiple missions of patient care, education and research."

When asked specifically about the decision to select the U. Hospital, 70 percent said they were referred directly by their physician.

"Yet the survey said we need to do a better job of informing physicians in the intermountain area about the services available at the University Hospital, and we need to do a much better job in getting information back to them once they refer patients to us," Dwan said.

Although costs are important to hospital administrators, respondents did not list it as a key factor in choosing a hospital.

The most frequent reason given for choosing a particular hospital for a routine medical condition was simply convenience of location.