For the last few years, nearly half of the Baldrige Award’s customers have come from healthcare, which is not surprising: Healthcare costs continue to rise without a related improvement in healthcare results.
Hospitals and medical centers embrace the Baldrige model for the systems perspective it provides. Senior leaders who have integrated Baldrige attest to the new knowledge it gives them about how their organizations operate, which means they gain greater control over the levers of success. In healthcare, where so many factors conspire to increase costs and decrease performance, understanding and controlling those factors is priceless.
One example is described here. Advocate Condell Medical Center, a 350-bed Level 1 trauma center in north Chicago, turned to Baldrige and Lean to tackle serious challenges at the hospital and its imaging business including:
- Ranking in the bottom quartile of patient satisfaction
- High percentage of denials and bad debt
- Negative growth
- 30% of calls abandoned or lost
- Report turnaround time of 16 hours
- A 6% no-show rate
- Cumbersome registration process
- Long patient wait times
- Low staff and physician morale
Baldrige provided the management framework for aligning and integrating strategies, plans, and activities. Lean improved process flow and eliminated waste by involving staff in identifying and eliminating wasteful steps and streamlining processes.
One year after launching the project, the hospital reported:
- Greater than top quartile in customer satisfaction
- Greater than 8% year-over-year profitable growth
- Reduced no shows to less than 2%
- Reduced report turnaround time to less than 4 hours
- Reduced abandoned/lost calls to less than 8%
- Reduced patient wait times from more than 30 minutes to less than 10 minutes
- Improved staff and physician satisfaction by more than 50%
- Confirmed year-over-year return on investment of $1.75 million
Such results quantify the benefits of a systematic approach to process improvement. With Baldrige as the roadmap and Lean as the driver, Advocate Condell Medical Center realized significant improvement in just one year while positioning itself to continue to improve performance well into the future.
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