Report to President: Baldrige is an effective tool to improve health care

Paul GrizzellArticles, Baldrige Categories, Healthcare, i. Societal Responsibility, k. Systems PerspectiveLeave a Comment


A recent report provided to the White House by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology titled “Report to the President: Better Health Care and Lower Costs: Accelerating Improvement Through Systems Engineering” makes seven systems engineering recommendations to address the challenges in health care.  I’m pleased to see Baldrige as part of one of the recommendations (Recommendation #6 for those who are curious). While the report makes it sound as if Baldrige is an award program for those who make progress, those familiar with Baldrige recognize that the other recommendations by this group are addressed within the Baldrige Criteria.

A report summary fact sheet describes the seven recommendations.  Each of them has a close link to the Baldrige Criteria. I have identified key Baldrige references for each: 

Recommendation 1: Accelerate the alignment of payment incentives and reported information with better outcomes for individuals and populations.  Baldrige reference:  Alignment of Baldrige Process categories to Baldrige Results categories.  Also aligned to Baldrige 1.2a Organizational Governance, including accountability for management’s actions and evaluation of senior performance, and Baldrige 4.1a, b, and c, including performance measurement, performance analysis and review, and performance improvement. 

Recommendation 2: Accelerate efforts to develop the Nation’s health-data infrastructure.  Baldrige reference:  Baldrige 4.2 Knowledge Management, Information, and Information Technology, including how organizational knowledge is assembled and used, and ensuring the accuracy, integrity, reliability of data and information.

Recommendation 3: Provide national leadership in systems engineering by increasing the supply of data available to benchmark performance, understand a community’s health, and examine broader regional or national trends.  Baldrige reference:  The Baldrige Core Value of “Societal Responsibility and Community Health.”  Also Baldrige 4.1c Performance Improvement, including how to share best practices, and 1.2c Societal Responsibility and Support of Key Communities, including how your organization builds community health.

Recommendation 4: Increase technical assistance (for a defined period—3-5 years) to health-care professionals and communities in applying systems approaches.  Baldrige reference:  All of Baldrige Criteria, including the Baldrige Core Value of “Systems Perspective” and 6.1 Work Processes, including how an organization design, manages, and improves health care services and work processes.

Recommendation 5: Support efforts to engage communities in systematic healthcare improvement.  Baldrige reference:  Baldrige 1.2c Societal Responsibility and Support of Key Communities, including how your organization builds community health.

Recommendation 6: Establish awards, challenges, and prizes to promote the use of systems methods and tools in health care.  Baldrige reference:  The Baldrige and state program application, assessment, and recognition processes help organizations focus, align, and accelerate their performance excellence journeys.

Recommendation 7: Build competencies and workforce for redesigning healthcare.  Baldrige reference:  Baldrige Category 5 – Workforce Focus, especially 5.1a Workforce Capability and Capacity and 5.2c(1) “support organizational performance improvement and innovation.”

To accomplish these recommendations, the report suggests the following strategy: (1) reforming payment systems, (2) building the Nation’s health-data infrastructure, (3) providing technical assistance to providers, (4) increasing community collaboration, (5) sharing best practices, and (6) training health professionals in systems engineering approaches.

Many of us see the opportunity to use the Baldrige Criteria as a framework to address these recommendations and to implement the six strategic steps.  The Criteria are an outcome-focused, evidence-based management system based on the characteristics of high-performing organiztions.  They can help provide consistency in within an organization, and can help align multiple organizations with a common language of performance excellence.

Core Values Partners helps organizations focus, align, and accelerate their performance excellence efforts through effective use of the Baldrige or EFQM Criteria. Let us know if you have questions about how the Baldrige Criteria can help drive performance excellence in your organization.  And the same holds true for our international friends – the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) Criteria can help you accomplish the same things.  Core Values Partners is an EFQM Licensed Advisor in addition to 18 years of experience in driving performance excellence using the Baldrige Criteria.

© Core Values Partners, Inc. 2014



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