For the 55,000 Alaska Native and American Indian people it serves, Southcentral Foundation (SCF) has cut costly emergency room and urgent care visits by 50% and reduced specialty care by 65%, primary care visits by 36%, and hospital admissions by 53%. Such impressive results helped SCF win the 2011 Baldrige Award.
Of those SCF serves, 45,000 live in the Anchorage, Alaska, area and 10,000 live in 55 remote villages accessible only by plane. SCF serves them through a unique health care delivery system, the Nuka System of Care, that focuses strategies and processes on wellness. The system is owned, managed, directed, designed, and driven by Alaska Native people, which SCF calls “customer-owners.”
These unique ownership and health care delivery systems are producing impressive results:
- Customer-owners can see their primary care providers on the same day if they call by 4 p.m. and arrive by 4:30. Seventy to 80% of appointment slots are open at the start of each day.
- Alaska Natives and American Indian people experience diabetes at twice the national rate. Since 2009, SCF’s performance levels for diabetes care have exceeded the 90th percentile of the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information set.
- SFC manages key performance data through DataMall where it is collected, aggregated, trended, segmented, and available to managers, clinicians, customer-owners, and employees.
- SCF’s overall customer satisfaction rating in 2010 was 91%. Its overall satisfaction rating on Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) was 73.3%, significantly higher than the CAHPS TopBox benchmark of 46%.
- Staff turnover decreased from 37% in 2008 to 17% in 2011.
- SCF’s per capita expenditures percentage change has been lower than the MGA benchmark since 2005 despite its phenomenal growth.
Notice the exceptional results across all critical areas: operations, patient care, patient satisfaction, workforce, and financial. Organizations must be good at everything and great at a few things to win a Baldrige Award, as SCF has demonstrated.
Health care organizations that want to replicate its success can start with the Nuka System of Care, which is based on four principles: (1) customers drive everything; (2) customers must know and trust the health care team; (3) customers should face no barriers in seeking care; and (4) employees and supporting facilities are vital to success. If it works for SCF in remote areas of Alaska, it can work for any health system in the country.
You can read more about SCF and its world-class results here.
To learn more about other Baldrige health care leaders, click on these articles: