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National Baldrige Excellence Program Recognition

Story by Adventist HealthCare Staff

Adventist HealthCare has been steadily and intentionally pursuing a goal
of world-class excellence across the organization – an aspiration recently recognized by the National Institute of Standards in Technology (NIST) and the prestigious Baldrige Performance Excellence Program.

Since 2016, Adventist HealthCare has applied for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award – the highest national recognition for performance excellence that an organization
or business can achieve. This year, Adventist HealthCare has earned a site visit – a coveted and distinct recognition earned by only nine companies in the United States.

“We received the news with great excitement,” says Terry Forde, president and CEO of Adventist HealthCare. “The recognition symbolized by the site visit is a key indicator that our team members across our system are passionately committed to improvement in every area and to delivering world-class care to all members of our communities.”

The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award began as a study to improve the effectiveness and competitiveness of US organizations. NIST scrutinized the best companies in the world and the methods they used in order to achieve high levels of performance. A framework, or criteria, for excellence emerged as common themes began to be recognized.

“As a faith-based healthcare system, we ought to subject ourselves to the highest scrutiny and strive to achieve excellence,” says John Sackett, Adventist HealthCare’s chief operating officer. “What better way than by using the Malcolm Baldrige framework? If you’re doing God’s work, there’s no excuse for mediocrity.”

Once a year, companies that are pursuing the Baldrige Award submit a 50-page application to the Baldrige Program. Emily Miller, Adventist HealthCare’s director for Performance Excellence and Strategic Planning, explains that “Baldrige examiners spend more than 40 hours reviewing [the company’s] processes and results, then provide the organization with a score and its top strengths and opportunities for improvement.” If its score meets the performance threshold of the judges’ panel, the organization earns a site visit.

If it does not earn a visit, the organization is mailed a feedback report discussing strengths and opportunities to help it improve for the next year.

Earning a site visit is an honor because the examiners observe processes in action and provide even better feedback.

This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sackett says Adventist HealthCare administrators will take examiners on a virtual guided tour through healthcare facilities. During the visit, the experts will have the opportunity to interview employees and view key performance indicators posted in each department.

Adventist HealthCare is the first multi- hospital health system in the Maryland/ Washington, D.C./Virginia region to have ever earned a site visit. “Every single employee is responsible for this accomplishment,” emphasizes Miller.

“It takes tremendous discipline and process management to achieve improved performance year-after-year.”

Sackett agrees. “This is a team sport. When processes are put in place, the whole company knows exactly what we are trying to achieve and each employee puts their shoulder to the wheel.”

Regardless of whether Adventist HealthCare wins the award this year, Sackett says, “Success for us is when we achieve our Mission which is ‘to extend God’s care through the ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing’ on a world-class level to every person, every time.”

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