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PVHS Receives Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (Nov. 2008)

Poudre Valley Health System has earned the nation's top quality award, President George Bush announced today (Nov. 25).

PVHS is one of only three organizations across the country to receive the prestigious Baldrige National Quality Award, given by the National Institute of Standards and Technology to recognize manufacturing, small business, service, education and healthcare organizations that demonstrate sustainable performance excellence.

PVHS is the only healthcare organization to receive the 2008 Baldrige award. The award signifies a 10-year journey during which PVHS has dedicated itself to improving every aspect of its healthcare business, including clinical quality, customer service, and staff, physician and volunteer satisfaction.

President-elect Obama will present the award to PVHS leaders and staff during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. in early 2009.

"We are proud to be named to such an elite group of organizations," said PVHS President and Chief Executive Officer Rulon Stacey. "The award is a confirmation for our patients, physicians, staff, volunteers and community that we are truly dedicated to providing world-class health care."

As a recipient of the Baldrige award, PVHS will turn a national spotlight on Northern Colorado. Leaders from across the country will travel here to learn about the organization's successful performance excellence program. PVHS -- a two-time recipient of the Colorado Performance Excellence Peak Award -- will be invited to lead and participate in national quality conferences highlighting the organization's role model practices.

The locally owned, not-for-profit PVHS first applied for the Baldrige National Quality Award in 1999, and since then, has used the annual application process to drive continuous quality improvement. With each application, PVHS has received a detailed feedback report from trained examiners who identify opportunities for improvement within the organization. Long-standing, multidisciplinary staff teams with almost 100 participants continue to design and implement innovative new systems to address these opportunities.

"As a result, we are able to provide high-quality, low-cost care that rivals the nation's leading healthcare organizations," Stacey said.

In May, PVHS submitted its eighth application for the Baldrige National Quality Award. The 50-page document answered more than 250 questions related to the organization's leadership; strategic planning; customer and staff focus; knowledge and process management; and clinical, regulatory and financial results.

During each of the first two stages of the judging process, a team of trained examiners from healthcare and non-healthcare organizations across the country scored the application.

In the final stage, PVHS was one of six healthcare organizations across the country that received a four-day visit from an examiner team. During the visit, eight examiners completed 250-plus interviews with staff, physicians and volunteers.

The Baldrige Process drives continuous improvement at PVHS and ultimately means better patient care:

"Our patients and community told us they want high-quality, low-cost care," Stacey said. "The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award demonstrates that we are giving our customers what they asked for and that we can continue to do so for years to come."