Sutter Davis Hospital CEO Janet Wagner, second from right, accepts the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award during a ceremony Sunday in Baltimore. Joining her for the presentation are, from left, Patrick Gallagher, under secretary for standards and technology and director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the Department of Commerce; George Benson, chair of the Baldrige Foundation; James Conforti, regional president of Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region; and Penny Pritzker, U.S. commerce secretary. Courtesy photo

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Sutter Davis Hospital receives 2013 presidential honor for excellence

On Sunday evening, Sutter Davis Hospital became the only health-care organization to receive a 2013 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest presidential honor for performance excellence, during Baldrige’s 26th annual Quest for Excellence Conference in Baltimore. Also honored was the Pewaukee School District in Wisconsin.

Sutter Davis, a 48-bed hospital in Yolo County, is the first organization or business in the greater Sacramento area, and the first hospital in Northern California, to receive the prestigious national honor.
Since the first businesses were recognized in 1988, 101 awards have been presented to 95 organizations. Past award winners include Boeing, AT&T, Motorola, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Cadillac, 3M, Lockheed Martin and the Henry Ford Health System.

“I congratulate the 2013 Baldrige Award recipients, two organizations that are leading innovative practices, dynamic management, sound financial performance, outstanding employee and customer satisfaction, and a solid commitment to excellence and proven results,” said U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, who presented the awards.

“The Baldrige program has had a tangible impact on the success of thousands of organizations worldwide and our nation’s economy, and the winners announced today will undoubtedly continue that legacy and serve as role models for their peers in the health care and education sectors.”

To win the award, Sutter Davis was rigorously evaluated in seven areas: leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; operations focus; and results.

“Over the past six years — through continuous process improvement, guided by the Baldrige criteria for performance excellence, engaging our staff, physicians and volunteers, and collaborating with our community partners — Sutter Davis Hospital has accomplished and sustained remarkable results,” Wagner said as she accepted the award.

She mentioned two examples:
* Using the Baldrige criteria, Sutter Davis sustained its results in patient satisfaction and clinical quality, and remained in the top 10 percent for performance. In turn, this helped the Sutter Davis remain a Top 100 Hospital as named by Truven Health Analytics for the past four years and earned it recognition by several other organizations across the country.
* Sutter Davis reduced its 30-day readmission rates in the emergency room through its partnership with its federally qualified health clinic, CommuniCare.

“Our team at Sutter Davis Hospital showed great courage and resilience by participating in the detailed scrutiny of the Baldrige Performance Excellence program, and they showed fortitude to be open to feedback and continue to improve processes,” Wagner said.

“The Sutter Davis team has created a culture of accountability and has truly demonstrated transforming the way health care can and should be provided in this country.”

Sutter Health President and CEO Pat Fry attended Sunday’s awards ceremony.

“It is remarkable what Sutter Davis Hospital has accomplished by winning the Baldrige honor,” he said. “This recognition reaffirms our work and our commitment to give comprehensive and quality care to our patients at Sutter Davis Hospital and throughout our Northern California network of hospitals and doctors.”

According to a December 2011 study, the Baldrige Program has real benefits for the nation’s economy and for organizations that follow the criteria, which Wagner has discovered.

Local elected officials see the benefits as well.
“I’m so pleased to have such an amazing hospital in Davis, and I truly value the vision, leadership and organizational performance shown by CEO Janet Wagner and her team of employees, physicians and volunteers,” said Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor of Davis.
“On behalf of the entire Yolo County Board of Supervisors, I want to thank Sutter Davis Hospital for bringing a national, presidential honor to Yolo County, providing quality care to all patients and serving as a steadfast community partner.”
Added Davis City Councilwoman Rochelle Swanson, who traveled to the East Coast for the ceremony, “I am privileged and honored to be partners with a hospital that earns this kind of recognition. They truly make our community a better place to live.”

Established by Congress in 1987, the Baldrige Award is managed by the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program of the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology in cooperation with the private sector.

The program raises awareness about the importance of performance excellence in driving the U.S. and global economy; provides organizational assessment tools and criteria; educates leaders in businesses, schools, health care organizations, and government and nonprofit organizations about the practices of national role models; and recognizes them with the Baldrige Award.

A profile of Sutter Davis Hospital spotlighting the excellence it has achieved during its Baldrige journey is presented at www.nist.gov/baldrige/award_recipients/sutter-davis-hospital.cfm.

Special to The Enterprise

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