Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Our Quality Award Journey

By Lori Cooper, Administrator, Stonebrook Healthcare Center
2014 Gold Quality Award Recipient

 (L to R) Neil Pruitt, Jr,, AHCA Immediate Past Chair, Lori Cooper, Len Russ, AHCA Chair 
As an independent facility, taking the Quality Award journey is one of the best decisions we ever made. We utilized the criteria and feedback at every stage to identify, develop and implement systems to make us a high performing organization and a leader in our marketplace. Like most independent facilities, Stonebrook has limited resources for the various layers of consulting that can be found in multi-operations. This did not prevent us from making a commitment to quality. To address this challenge, we assigned champions to each category of the application. These champions became experts in their assigned areas.   

We soon realized there are numerous advantages to participating. We learned about our organization; the good, the bad and the ugly. With that information, we were able to identify what we do best and identify areas where we needed to improve our processes. We came to understand the importance and value of being a data-driven organization. The quality award process prompted us to look at our outcomes as compared to our competitors. By being willing to address the areas where we were not as good as our competitors, our results improved over time.  

For us, the benefits of participating in the Quality Award Program are evident in every aspect our organization. Here are the top five benefits for us:

1. We now have an engaged leadership team that understands the need to focus on our strategy and customers. Our leadership team sets the direction for our organization and seeks out future opportunities. They understand the importance of creating a culture that delivers a consistently positive experience for our customers that is in alignment with our mission. This level of leadership keeps our operations current and responsive to the needs of our stakeholders.

2. We have systems and processes in place that can be replicated. In the event that we would lose a key employee or knowledge holder, we would be able to continue our day-to-day functions with minimal impact. As an independent organization, this continuity is vital for us to survive and thrive long-term.  

3. The Quality Award Program made us aware of the importance of listening to our customers and stakeholders. The communication throughout the organization has become essential to us. We listen to our customers and use their feedback to make improvements to our processes. As a result, our customer satisfaction scores are consistently in the top 10 percentile of the My InnerView national data base.

4. The morale, unity and engagement of our employees have been positively impacted by our participation in the Quality Award Program. We purposefully focus on our employees and their work environment and well-being. We used the criteria as a tool to identify workplace factors that could enhance our workplace environment. For the past three years, our organization has been recognized as a “Top Workplace” in the San Francisco Bay Area out of all industries.

5. By achieving the Gold Quality Award, our independent organization has earned more credibility, an enhanced reputation and increased marketability in the local area. This is imperative to us as we do not have the deep pockets for advertising. We are able to attain a higher market share based on our reputation.  

Our journey through the Quality Award Program has had a dramatic impact on our organization. It proves that independent operators can achieve and maintain the highest level of performance. I encourage every independent operator to take the journey with us. You won’t be sorry.

Submit your Intent to Apply for the 2015 AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program by November 13, 2014!

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