The Baldrige criteria provide a systems perspective for managing your organization and its key processes to achieve results – and to strive for performance excellence. The seven categories, the core values, and the scoring guidelines form the building blocks and the integrating mechanism for the system. However, successful management of overall performance requires organization-specific synthesis, alignment, and integration.
Synthesis means looking at your organization as a whole and building on key business attributes, including your core competencies, strategic objectives, action plans, and work systems. Alignment means using the key linkages among requirements given in the Baldrige criteria categories to ensure consistency of plans, processes, measures, and actions. Integration builds on alignment so that the individual components of your performance management system operate in a fully interconnected manner and deliver anticipated results.
Henry Ford Health Systems, a 2011 Baldrige Award recipient, is one of the country’s largest health care systems, exceeding $4 billion in revenues, and is a national leader in clinical care, research and education. It includes the 1,200-member Henry Ford Medical Group, five hospitals, Health Alliance Plan, Henry Ford Physician Network, 32 primary care centers and many other health-related entities throughout southeast Michigan. In 2010, Henry Ford provided nearly $200 million in uncompensated care. The health system is also a major economic driver in Michigan and employs more than 24,000.
HFHS’s commitment to patient safety is emphasized through its evidenced-based global harm campaign to reduce or eliminate some 23 sources of harm. A prime example of this success is Henry Ford Hospital’s reduction in central-line infections from 10 per year to 3 since 2008. HFHS has accomplished a 40% reduction in mortality since 2004 – a result of successful implementation, consistency of plans, processes, and measures, and the spread of several improvements.
A systems perspective includes your senior leaders’ focus on strategic directions and on your customers. It means that your senior leaders monitor, respond to, and manage performance based on your results. A systems perspective also includes using your measures, indicators, core competencies, and organizational knowledge to build your key strategies. It means linking these strategies with your work systems and key processes and aligning your resources to improve your overall performance and the focus on customers and stakeholders. Thus, a systems perspective means managing your whole organization, as well as its components, to achieve success.
Using both short- and long-term planning horizons, HFHS senior leaders make decisions that effectively balance the need to provide quality care while also sustaining and building the business. By leveraging partnerships—including those with the University of Michigan, Wayne State University, and academic institutions in Canada—and providing profitable products and services, HFHS is able to offset the cost of its core services (e.g., the hospitals and medical centers) that are less profitable.
“We started our journey with the intent of using the Baldrige framework to become a better organization—not to just win an award. We integrated the framework into our strategic planning and business operations. It became part of our everyday work. If we hadn’t adopted the framework, our culture would not have changed.”
For more reading about successful Baldrige Award recipients, check these out:
- Acknowledging Innovative Excellence – K&N Management
- Ames Rubber – Still Bouncing Along
- How ST Microelectronics Maintains Their Edge
- Juran’s Quality Handbook, The Complete Guide to Performance Excellence, 6th Ed.
- Henry Ford Health Systems