On November 13, 2013, two hospitals and a small Wisconsin school district joined an elite club of organizations: winners of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The award is the nation's highest Presidential honor for performance excellence through innovation, improvement and visionary leadership.
The 2013 Baldrige Award recipients include the Pewaukee School District (Pewaukee, Wis.), Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano (Plano, Texas)* and Sutter Davis Hospital (Davis, Calif.). They were selected from a field of 22 applicants that were evaluated rigorously by an independent board of examiners in seven areas defined by the Baldrige Criteria: leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; operations focus; and results.
An organization may compete for the award in one of six categories: manufacturing, service, small business, health care, education and nonprofit (including government agencies).
To date, more than 1,500 U.S. organizations have applied for the Baldrige Award, and there are Baldrige-based award programs in nearly all 50 states. Internationally, the program has served as a model for nearly 100 excellence programs. Thousands of organizations worldwide use the Baldrige Criteria to guide their operations, improve performance and get sustainable results. This proven improvement and innovation framework offers organizations an integrated approach to key management areas. The criteria are regularly updated to reflect the leading edge of validated management practice.
The Baldrige judges also recognize best practices in one or more of the Baldrige Criteria categories by organizations that are candidates for the award but are not selected as a winner. This year, the judges have chosen to honor two health care organizations for their best practices in the leadership criterion, Duke University Hospital, (Durham, N.C.) and Hill Country Memorial, (Fredericksburg, Texas).
The 2013 Baldrige Award will be presented at an April 2014 ceremony during the Quest for Excellence conference in Baltimore, Md.
For more on the 2013 Baldrige awards, see the NIST news story, "Three U.S. Organizations Honored with the 2013 Baldrige National Quality Award."