Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Evaluation and Improving: Applying the Principles of Learning to the AHCA/NCAL Quality Award Program


This next year marks the beginning of the third decade of the Quality Award program. Twenty years ago, those directly involved in the program numbered less than 20; 6 examiners, 12 applicants and 1 staff member.

The old proverb says, “Change is the only thing that never changes.” Anyone who’s been involved with the program for more than two years has been witness to this proverb in action; every year brings many significant changes to the program.

Here are just a few of the changes over the past few years;

  • Once there were over 125 Bronze Examiners, today there are just 4. 
  • Once there were only 4 Senior Examiners, today there are almost 200. 
  • Once all Examiner training was conducted via webinars. Today all Examiners are trained on-site. 
  • Once there was virtually no engagement of the broader Baldrige community. Today some of the best-respected Baldrige experts serve as Judges, Examiners, and Trainers in our program. 
  • Once there were no available resources, now a variety of online training, data, and networking resources exist – most free of charge. 
  • Once most AHCANCAL State Affiliates were only marginally engaged in the program. Now many affiliates serve as key promoters, education partners, and staff members serve as examiners. 
  • Once Gold site visit were mainly courtesy calls with little formal evaluation. The site visit team made the award determination during the site visit. Today we have a formal process, solid accountability and reporting, and our Panel of Judges makes the award determination. 

Additionally, there are literally hundreds of other important changes that have occurred over the last few years.

While some of those changes were admittedly reactionary, they are now the result of regular ongoing cycles of evaluation, driven by stakeholder feedback, data review, and oriented to strategy objectives. We are working hard to apply the Baldrige Core Values to the program.

If it has been awhile since you submitted an award application, we hope that you will consider 2017 as a “restart” year. If you have been progressing along with your journey, we hope that you will continue it in 2017. Either way, remember that your first step should be to review the 2017 application packets in full. Applications are now available so click here to get started today!

This year there have been changes to the Silver criteria, the addition of required results at the Silver and Gold level, and changes to the survey eligibility criteria at each level to name a few. 

As always, thanks for your interest in the AHCANCAL National Quality Award Program!

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