Complexity is a fact of organizational life. To succeed in today’s global, competitive, uncertain environment, organizations must accept complexity. The Baldrige Criteria are complex because attaining organizational sustainability in a global economy is not simple.
Premier, Inc. is a healthcare strategic alliance entirely owned by not-for-profit hospitals and health system organizations that operate both hospitals and other kinds of care services. Premier is the second largest of the few nationwide alliances serving not-for-profits. In 2011, they saved $4.2+ billion by improving processes and efficiencies in their care delivery system, which is the equivalent to the average annual salary of 70,015 nurse practitioners.
Premier has no problem answering the Baldrige Criteria questions in section 1.2, ‘How does your organization promote and ensure ethical behavior in all interactions?’ and, ‘How do you contribute to the well-being of your environmental, social, and economic systems?’ Premier operates its corporate headquarters in a LEED certified building; and last year it recycled nearly 150,000 pounds of paper on top of two tons of computers and electronic equipment. The organization also advocates on behalf of its members for healthcare policies that address safe and less toxic practices, including the need for Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) labeling of products and more oversight of industrial chemicals with increased disclosure and promotion of safer alternatives.
Premier uses a green leaf icon to tag “environmentally preferable contracts” from contracted suppliers in its electronic catalog for members, Supply Chain Advisor. These contracts have products or services with environmentally preferable attributes that reduce the negative impact on the quality and health of the environment and consider, for example, the product materials, potential toxicity, production, packaging, reusability, energy efficiency, disposal, nationally recognized certification, or its impact on the environment.
With core values that focus on the integrity of the individual and enterprise, generating a passion for performance, achieving innovative breakthrough opportunities, and focusing on people, Premier, Inc. is sure to maintain its position near the top, especially when it comes to such a complex alliance of hospitals and health organizations.
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