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National Quality Forum

Health Care

Norton Healthcare Wins 2011 National Quality Healthcare Award

Kentucky-based not-for-profit hospital lauded for integrating care across entire patient-focused experience

Published: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - 14:19

(NQF: Washington) -- The National Quality Forum (NQF) has announced that Norton Healthcare has been named the recipient of the 2011 NQF National Quality Healthcare Award for its exceptional organizational leadership and innovation to achieve quality improvement. The award will be presented in partnership with Modern Healthcare on Sept. 15, 2011, at the NQF Leadership Colloquium in Washington.

As part of its mission to improve the quality of health care in the United States, NQF presents the National Quality Healthcare Award annually to an exemplary health care organization that has achieved a number of quality focused goals, including:
• Meaningful, sustained quality improvement through performance measurement
• Fostering a culture of transparency and accountability that benefits patients and the local community
• Managing care for patients across settings and over time
• Demonstrating commitment to public reporting that enables more informed patient decision making, thereby serving as a role model for other health care organizations

Norton Healthcare, a Louisville, Kentucky-based not-for-profit hospital and health care system, is the 18th recipient of the annual award and the first health care organization in Kentucky to receive the award.

“This year, NQF placed a specific focus for the National Quality Healthcare Award on the extent to which organizations had taken steps to coordinate and integrate care across the entire patient-focused experience," says Janet Corrigan, NQF president and CEO. “Norton Healthcare has accomplished this and much more in its continued efforts to improve quality and safety within the entire Norton system. Norton Healthcare’s leadership provides an ideal model for other health care systems working to raise the bar of health system performance to achieve safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable care.”

“We at Norton Healthcare are indeed honored to receive the NQF National Quality Healthcare Award,” says Stephen A. Williams, Norton Healthcare president and CEO. “The Norton organization has enhanced and advanced a 25-plus-year commitment to improving the quality, safety, and coordination of our patient care. This award represents a wonderful recognition of the leadership of our board of trustees, along with the commitment and hard work of our physicians, managers, and all employees throughout the organization. I extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to everyone associated with the Norton Healthcare family for everything they have done to continually improve the quality and safety of our patient care.”

Among its many accomplishments, Norton Healthcare is one of the first health care organizations in the nation to publicly report its performance on hundreds of NQF-endorsed quality indicators. A monthly report on the health care system’s website displays side-by-side numeric results for each hospital in the system. The report highlights in green or red any result that is significantly better or worse than the national average. Norton Healthcare has advanced its performance by creating a unified and integrated direction for the system and its hospitals, physician practices, and service lines in the areas of quality, process, patient safety, and service and patient satisfaction.

All Norton Healthcare hospitals document patient care in a single electronic medical record. Using this single system, many care delivery steps have been standardized and automated, including aspects of patient screening and assessment, physician order sets, care guidelines, patient education, and discharge instructions.

Norton Healthcare has also aligned with the goals of the National Priorities Partnership, a collaborative of 48 public and private partner organizations convened by NQF to achieve specific, measurable progress in quality improvement by focusing on the specific priorities of:
• Ensuring that all patients have access to affordable, timely, and high-quality care
• Engaging patients and their families in managing their health and making decisions about their care
• Improving the health of the U.S. population
• Improve the safety and reliability of the U.S. health care system
• Ensuring patients receive well-coordinated care within and across all health care organizations, settings, and levels of care
• Guaranteeing access to appropriate and compassionate care for patients—and their family caregivers—with chronic, advanced, or terminal illness
• Eliminating overuse while ensuring the delivery of appropriate care
• Promoting systems that support work-force development, health information technology, system and community capacity, performance measurement, research, and quality improvement

The organizations achieve progress through their strategic planning and goal-setting processes involving organizational and community leaders; participation in national, state, and regional performance measurement and improvement initiatives; and intentional use of evidence-based best practices.

Additionally, because of its leadership, mission of caring for the community, and commitment to improving value, Norton Healthcare was recently selected to become one of four sites for the Accountable Care Organization pilot within the Brookings-Dartmouth ACO (Accountable Care Organization) Project.

The NQF National Quality Healthcare Award recipient is selected through a blinded review by a panel of jurors composed of national health care experts who represent purchasers, government, health systems, and consumers. Information on award criteria can be found here.

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National Quality Forum

The National Quality Forum (NQF) operates under a three-part mission to improve the quality of American health care: setting national priorities and goals for performance improvement, endorsing national consensus standards for measuring and publicly reporting on performance, and promoting the attainment of national goals through education and outreach programs. In 2008, NQF convened the National Priorities Partnership, a collaborative effort of 32 major national organizations that collectively influence every part of the health care system. By focusing on high-leverage priorities and goals and taking collective action to reach them, the partnership strives to transform health care from the inside out, where it has the best chance to succeed.