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Jt Comm J Qual Improv. 2000 Jul;26(7):379-87.

Using the Baldrige management system framework in health care: the Veterans Health Administration experience.

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1
Departments of Psychiatry, Community and Family Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA. william.weeks@med.va.gov

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In 1998 the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) developed the Quality Achievement Recognition Grant, a competitive grant application open to all Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISNs) within the VHA system and based on the Baldrige management framework. Eight of the 22 VISNs attended the educational programs and initiated the grant application process; 7 completed applications. Team award experts from VHA and external sources reviewed, scored, and wrote feedback reports to all applicants and conducted four site visits.

IDENTIFICATION OF BEST PRACTICES AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE APPLICANTS:

Each application was compared to examples of ideal applications to identify areas of excellence and areas for improvement. In general, the best applicants identified and described key processes and articulated the methods used to evaluate and improve processes. For example, they were able to identify the process used to incorporate key constituents into the strategy development process. One applicant developed a series of management advisory committees, the membership of which includes veterans' service organizations, academic affiliates, community members, and congressional delegates, which were tapped to develop a strategic plan. Leading applicants in the future are likely to be able to demonstrate evidence of deployment and constant review of the strategy and to emphasize the human resources plan into the strategic planning and deployment.

CONCLUSIONS:

The Baldrige management framework is a useful tool for identification of areas of achievement and areas for improvement within the VHA. Potential applicants for the award could benefit from ensuring coherence across the application, placing a greater emphasis on work systems, and incorporating more extensive analysis of market conditions.

PMID:
10897455
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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