As I promised in my last blog post, we will begin a review of the findings and research done by all four CHRISTUS Academy teams that graduated recently. Today, let’s review two of those projects.
Project 1: Weaving Research into the CHRISTUS Tapestry
The CHRISTUS Academy Research team was tasked to determine the extent to which a fully-developed research environment would assist CHRSITUS Health to achieve an environment of excellence and best practice with cutting-edge patient care and patient satisfaction, physician satisfaction, financial health and Associate growth and development, all of which are central to our Journey to Excellence.
Research being conducted in health care systems today consists of far more than the traditional pre-clinical (bench) research and clinical trials for pharmaceuticals and devices. CHRISTUS Health actively engages in Nursing, Community Health, Human Resources, Marketing and Retail research. Life-saving cancer drugs developed by The CHRISTUS Stehlin Foundation for Cancer Research and the titanium rib developed at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa are just two examples of the types of research conducted within the CHRISTUS system.
Today, embracing innovative research is essential for any health care organization to survive, as informed consumers demand a higher quality of care. The CHRISTUS Research Academy team was charged to evaluate CHRISTUS Health’s current state and determine the steps required to create a fully-developed research environment that would assist CHRISTUS Health in achieving excellence and best practices with cutting-edge patient care.
The team contacted numerous facilities involved in research and conducted literature reviews in order to learn what is required to develop a vibrant research environment. Their key findings are as follows:
• A research infrastructure must be in place.
• Culture trumps strategy.
• You must have “the right people on the bus.”
• Partnering with credible organizations and individuals is beneficial.
In order to create a robust research environment, CHRISTUS Health must commit to the following:
• Expand the current research infrastructure to include a system research department.
• Instigate a change in CHRISTUS culture through communications and a recognition program.
• Engage and develop Associates to be innovators with education, mentorship and rewards.
• Identify and support research partnerships.
• Develop the expertise required to locate and secure funding for research.
The CHRISTUS Innovations Institute offers a connection for research to become an integral part of our CHRISTUS mission and to enhance our CHRISTUS brand as a center of innovative excellence.
Project 2: Organizational Excellence: The Baldrige Model
As I have said before, we have done a comparison of our Journey to Excellence goals, the Joint Commission goals, Magnet status and the Malcom Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA), and found their goals and requirements to be almost identical. In addition, we are hoping to apply for the Baldrige award for our entire system on or shortly after we reach the June 2009 summit.
This CHRISTUS team was asked to gain an understanding of the measurement, analysis and knowledge management requirements of the MBNQA and evaluate the opportunities for improvement for CHRISTUS Health’s current processes as related to the Baldrige criteria.
According to recent studies, the MBNQA is an excellent indicator of high organizational performance.Health care organizations applying for the award must show a focused and systematic approach to performance management in the following areas:
• Strategic planning
• Customer and market focus
• Measurement, analysis and knowledge management
• Human Resource focus
• Process management
• Business/organizational performance results
Through analysis of winning MBNQA award applications, participation in best practice forums, a site visit to an MBNQA winner, personal interviews and detailed research, a baseline assessment of CHRISTUS’ current processes as related to the MBNQA was achieved.
After an MBNQA award application is reviewed, Baldrige examiners score the application based on the criteria in eight scoring ranges or “bands.” Recent winners have scored in the upper portion of band five. After analysis of the draft MBNQA application for CHRISTUS Health prepared by the team in conjunction with a former Baldrige examiner, they determined that CHRISTUS’ current score is in the range of band two.
According to the band descriptors, CHRISTUS falls into the Early Systemic Approach category, as defined by the Baldrige foundation. This means that CHRISTUS is at the beginning stages of conducting operations by processes with repeatability, evaluation and improvement, and some early coordination among organizational units. Strategy and quantitative goals are being defined.
The team found that CHRISTUS needs to deploy a more robust management of processes throughout the system. To achieve excellence, CHRISTUS must strengthen accountability, deployment of processes and process efficiency in key areas. Our submission of an actual MBNQA application in 2009 will result in valuable feedback from the team of Baldrige Examiners.
CHRISTUS is in the early stages of the Baldrige journey. A careful study of CHRISTUS Health’s draft application and the resulting implementation of the team’s recommendations will align current processes with strategic and operational goals. As a result, CHRISTUS Health will reach organizational maturity and achieve world-class excellence.
For more information on the Baldrige award, see one of my previous posts on optimizing CHRISTUS’ performance.