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Bronson Methodist Hospital: Journey to Excellence in Quality and Safety

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Background: Bronson Healthcare Group, a 343-bed not-for-profit health care system serving all of south-west Michigan and northern Indiana, has as its flagship Bronson Methodist Hospital, the recipient of the 2005 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Overall Approach to Quality and Safety: The Baldrige criteria were used to formalize Bronson's approach to performance excellence. The strategic plan is condensed and communicated via a "Plan for Excellence" focused on three strategies: clinical excellence, customer and service excellence, and corporate effectiveness.

Addressing the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Quality Aims: Initiatives include clinical scene investigation (a system for reporting and investigating sentinel and atypical events), a strategy for educating staff in the Situation-Background-Assessment-Recommendations (SBAR) communication technique, and mandatory influenza immunization for health care staff (safety), patient health literacy needs and a health information center (patient centeredness); methods to reduce bloodstream and ventilator-acquired pneumonia infections (effectiveness); a physician portal for access to forms, test results, and patient information (efficiency); restaurant-style pagers for patients and families while waiting (timeliness); and community outreach (equity).

Challenges and Lessons Learned: Bronson's journey to excellence continues with more accountability for hand-off communication and teamwork, enhancing a non-punitive environment for patient safety reporting, and further incorporating patient and family involvement.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2006

More about this publication?
  • Published monthly, The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety is a peer-reviewed publication dedicated to providing health professionals with the information they need to promote the quality and safety of health care. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety invites original manuscripts on the development, adaptation, and/or implementation of innovative thinking, strategies, and practices in improving quality and safety in health care. Case studies, program or project reports, reports of new methodologies or new applications of methodologies, research studies on the effectiveness of improvement interventions, and commentaries on issues and practices are all considered.

    David W. Baker, MD, MPH, FACP, executive vice president for the Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation at The Joint Commission, is the inaugural editor-in-chief of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

    Also known as Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement and Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety
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