A long-term quality management system is the key for organizations to improve and be accountable, believes State Senator Mark Miloscia, who represents Washington state’s 30th legislative district and who is also a current Baldrige examiner and former state examiner for the Washington State Quality Award.
Miloscia, who is chair of the Washington state Senate Accountability and Reform Committee and vice-chair of the Senate Human Services, Mental Health, and Housing Committee, says he has used one approach his whole legislative and professional career: “Ensure all organizations have a sound and professional quality management system in place that’s valid, reliable, and focuses on continued improvement. . . . I use the Baldrige Excellence Criteria as the tool to evaluate performance. Many in health care know that a number of hospitals and other organizations across the nation use the Baldrige Criteria as their path to make sure they meet [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] CMS standards.”
He adds, “My goal is to make sure Washington state government and local government is considered world class in performance and the best run in the nation. That has always been my goal and I continue to try and work and be a spokesman on these issues. [I] . . . feel that state governments properly run and managed can be run as well and efficient as the best in the private sector.”
The spring issue of ASQ’s Government Division featured an article by Miloscia, “Efforts to Systematize Quality in Washington State Government,” in which he wrote, “There is nothing structural or even political that would prevent any state government, school, or local government from matching the best that the private sector has to offer.” In the article, he lists the five elements that he believes can help entities be successful:
Miloscia said he laments that only a few government entities, to date, have been recognized with the Baldrige Award—the city of Irving, TX; the city of Coral Springs, FL; the Veterans Affairs Cooperative Studies Program; and the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center.
In addition, in a recent interview by the health care initiative State of Reform, Miloscia heralded “one of this nation’s best-kept secrets,” a sentiment he repeated for this interview: “the many Baldrige examiners who, in anonymity, volunteer their time at the local, state, and national levels. There is a whole group of people across this nation who are excited about making organizations more effective, efficient, and ethical, and do it for free.” Miloscia added, “These volunteers are one of our nation’s great strategic advantages!”