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Dawn Bailey

Health Care

Not Just Another Management Tool

Health Care Criteria offer pathway to prepare for reform

Published: Thursday, January 13, 2011 - 12:03

U.S. health care organizations, from multihospital systems to rural community health centers, are gearing up for the challenge of their times: the effect of health care reform on how they care for patients and how they run their operations. Future health care organizations will need to find a way to prioritize patient care and health care outcomes at the same time as controlling costs and managing processes—in fact, more demands with less money.

With increased government and public scrutiny on their operations, U.S. health care organizations face another challenge: How exactly will health care reform affect them? National debates and challenges are still ongoing, but these organizations need to be prepared now for the future, no matter in what shape health care reform comes (the only thing we can agree on is that it is coming). And many believe that the Baldrige Health Care Criteria for Performance Excellence hold the key to how to get prepared—and how to offer the highest-quality care and control costs at the same time.

The recently released 2011–2012 Health Care Criteria offer a proven improvement model, framework, and management tool that can help an organization align all elements of its operations for sustainability, including its leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis, and knowledge management; work-force focus; operations focus; and its results. The Health Care Criteria guide an organization in balancing stakeholders’ needs, focusing on patients and other stakeholders, controlling overall costs, preventing medical errors and unintended harm to patients, and measuring marketplace performance and sustainability.

But the Health Care Criteria are not just another management tool. They are a proven improvement tool with several world-class, role-model award recipients that have used the tool to achieve results. There are best practices to share and strategies to succeed.

Because no one knows the future, all we can do is be prepared. The Health Care Criteria offer a pathway to do just that.

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About The Author

Dawn Bailey’s picture

Dawn Bailey

Dawn Bailey is a writer/editor for the Baldrige Program involved in all aspects of communications, from leading the Baldrige Executive Fellows program to managing the direction of case studies, social media efforts, and assessment teams. She has more than 25 years of experience (18 years at the Baldrige Program) working on publications and education teams. Her background is in English and journalism, with degrees from the University of Connecticut and an advanced degree from George Mason University.