Blog » Why the Baldrige Award Is Good for Hospitals

Why the Baldrige Award Is Good for Hospitals

Created Jan 14 2015, 07:00 PM by Lippincott Solutions
  • quality
  • innovation
  • Baldrige Award

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Established by Congress in 1987 as part of the Quality Improvement Act, the Baldrige Award was originally given to manufacturers, service businesses and small businesses. The award was designed to raise awareness of quality management and to recognize those U.S. businesses that were successfully using quality management systems.

In 1999 the award added healthcare and education categories, and then a government and nonprofit category, in 2007. Named after the late U.S. Commerce Secretary, Howard Malcolm “Mac” Baldrige, the Baldrige Award is managed by the U.S. Commerce Department and administered by the American Society of Quality.

Malcolm Baldrige served as Secretary of Commerce in the Reagan administration from 1981-1987. An enthusiastic proponent of quality management as a key to U.S. prosperity, Malcolm Baldrige took a personal interest in the legislation that eventually became the Quality Improvement Act of 1987, helping to draft one of the early versions of the law. To recognize his efforts, Congress named the annual quality award in his honor.

Recipients of the Baldrige Award are selected based on achievement and improvement in seven areas, known as the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence:

  1. Leadership: How upper management leads the organization, and how the organization leads within the community.
  2. Strategic planning: How the organization establishes and plans to implement strategic directions.
  3. Customer and market focus: How the organization builds and maintains strong, lasting relationships with customers.
  4. Measurement, analysis, and knowledge management: How the organization uses data to support key processes and manage performance.
  5. Human resource focus: How the organization empowers and involves its workforce.
  6. Process management: How the organization designs, manages, and improves key processes.
  7. Business/organizational performance results: How the organization performs in terms of customer satisfaction, finances, human resources, supplier and partner performance, operations, governance and social responsibility, and how the organization compares to its competitors.

Thousands of organizations use the Baldrige Excellence Framework and its Criteria for Performance Excellence to guide their enterprises, improve performance, and get enduring results. The Framework, a cornerstone of the Baldrige Program, is a set of questions that focus on improving your results and building alignment across your organization. In a recent study, Baldrige hospitals were recording faster five-year performance improvement than peers, and were 83% more likely to be among Truven Health Analytics’ 100 Top Hospitals®.

"I honestly in my heart believe that because we participated in the Baldrige program and because it gave us that consistent feedback, there are people who are alive today who wouldn't have been had we not been so committed to the Baldrige process," said Rulon Stacey, President of 2008 Baldrige Award recipient Poudre Valley Health System.

Wolters Kluwer, developer of the Lippincott Solutions evidence-based software suite that makes evidence actionable at the point-of-care and via competency development to thousands of healthcare facilities world-wide, has become a major sponsor of the 2015-2016 Baldrige Excellence Framework (Health Care). Joining lead sponsor, The American Hospital Association (AHA), Wolters Kluwer aims to promote the Framework and its ability to positively affect patient outcomes in participating healthcare organizations.

“Lippincott Solutions brings technology and trusted health information together to improve organizational performance and facilitate evidence-based best practices, a unique differentiation for healthcare systems and clinicians using the software products,” said Al Faber, President and CEO of The Baldrige Foundation.  “By advocating performance excellence and associating the Baldrige Excellence Framework with Lippincott Solutions, Wolters Kluwer will help Baldrige have a profound impact in creating healthy communities across the nation.”

Does your facility use the Baldrige Excellence Framework? Do you think it has made a significant impact on quality?