I don’t know if the Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Washington, has thought about applying for the Baldrige Award, but it should. It’s already a role model for high-performing healthcare organizations.
A recent article in BusinessWeek lists its world-class attributes (“Hospitals: Radical Cost Surgery,” Catherine Arnst, January 7, 2010):
- Uses scorecards throughout the hospital to measure quality and efficiency
- Acts on innovative ideas from staff (a nursing team’s idea to check on patients every two hours to see if they need help moving around their rooms reduced falls by 25%)
- Places the day-to-day care of most inpatients in the hands of hospitalists (the program reduced length of stay, infections, and surgical complications)
- Created “single stay” wards where, after heart surgery, cardiac patients remain in one room throughout their recovery (patient satisfaction soared and average length of stay dropped by more than a day)
- Breaks even on Medicare patients while almost 60% of U.S. hospitals lose 20 cents on the dollar
- Offers financial training to 800 independent doctors affiliated with Providence to get them thinking about cost efficiencies
- Established an independent panel to investigate medical mistakes, share its finding with patients, and voluntarily offer a financial reward if warranted (Providence has two malpractice suits pending compared to 12 to 14 on average at other hospitals of similar size)
- Provides $16 million in healthcare each year that goes unpaid
- Wins awards: Top 100 Hospital and Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence three years in a row and ranked #1 for cardiac and critical care, stroke, and general surgery
As Providence and Baldrige Award-winning hospitals have shown, it is possible to reduce costs at the same time you deliver high-quality, innovative care. You must be visionary, purposeful, systematic, and relentless, but it can be done.
To find out how Baldrige Award recipients have done it, click here to go to the list of winners, then click on the award application summaries of the hospitals you wish to view.
To read more about healthcare performance excellence, click on these articles: