Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Client News: National Quality Forum Names Norton Healthcare Winner of 2011 NQF National Quality Healthcare Award

The National Quality Forum (NQF) announced today that Norton Healthcare has been named the recipient of the 2011 NQF National Quality Healthcare Award for its exceptional organizational leadership and innovation to achieve quality improvement. The award will be presented in partnership with Modern Healthcare on Sept. 15 at the NQF Leadership Colloquium in Washington, D.C.

As part of its mission to improve the quality of healthcare in America, NQF presents the Quality Healthcare Award annually to an exemplary healthcare organization that has achieved a number of quality focused goals, including meaningful, sustained quality improvement through performance measurement, fostering a culture of transparency and accountability that benefits patients and the local community, managing care for patients across settings and over time, and a demonstrated commitment to public reporting that enables more informed patient decision-making, thereby serving as a role model for other healthcare organizations. Norton Healthcare, a Louisville, Ky.-based not-for-profit hospital and health care system, is the 18th recipient of the annual award and the first healthcare organization in Kentucky to receive the award.

“This year, NQF placed a specific focus for the National Quality Healthcare Award on the extent to which organizations had taken steps to coordinate and integrate care across the entire patient-focused experience,” said Janet Corrigan, NQF president and CEO. “Norton Healthcare has accomplished this and much more in its continued efforts to improve quality and safety within the entire Norton system. Norton Healthcare’s leadership provides an ideal model for other healthcare systems working to raise the bar of health system performance to achieve safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable care.” 

“We at Norton Healthcare are indeed honored to receive the NQF National Quality Healthcare Award,” said Stephen A. Williams, Norton Healthcare president and CEO. “The Norton organization has enhanced and advanced a 25-plus year commitment to improving the quality, safety and coordination of our patient care. This award represents a wonderful recognition of the leadership of our Board of Trustees, along with the commitment and hard work of our physicians, managers and all employees throughout the organization. I extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to everyone associated with the Norton Healthcare family for everything they have done to continually improve the quality and safety of our patient care.”

Among its many accomplishments, Norton Healthcare is one of the first healthcare organizations in the nation to publicly report its performance on hundreds of NQF-endorsed quality indicators. A monthly report on the health care system’s public website displays side-by-side numeric results for each hospital in the system. The report highlights in green or red any result that is significantly better or worse than the national average. Norton Healthcare has advanced its performance by creating a unified and integrated direction for the system and its hospitals, physician practices and service lines in the areas of quality, process, patient safety and service/patient satisfaction. 
All Norton Healthcare hospitals document patient care in a single electronic medical record. Using this single system, many care delivery steps have been standardized and automated, including aspects of patient screening and assessment, physician order sets, care guidelines, patient education and discharge instructions. 
Norton Healthcare has also aligned with the goals of the National Priorities Partnership – a collaborative of 48 public and private partner organizations convened by NQF to achieve specific, measurable progress in quality improvement by focusing on the specific priorities of:
  • Ensuring that all patients have access to affordable, timely, and high-quality care
  • Engaging patients and their families in managing their health and making decisions about their care
  • Improving the health of the U.S. population
  • Improving the safety and reliability of America’s healthcare system
  • Ensuring patients receive well-coordinated care within and across all healthcare organizations, settings, and levels of care
  • Guaranteeing access to appropriate and compassionate care for patients—and their family caregivers—with chronic, advanced, or terminal illness
  • Eliminating overuse while ensuring the delivery of appropriate care
  • Promoting systems that support workforce development, health information technology, system and community capacity, performance measurement, research, and quality improvement
The organizations achieve progress through their strategic planning and goal-setting processes involving organizational and community leaders; participation in national, state and regional performance measurement and improvement initiatives; and intentional use of evidence-based best practices.
Additionally, because of its leadership, mission of caring for the community, and commitment to improving value, Norton Healthcare was recently selected to become one of four sites for the Accountable Care Organization pilot within the Brookings-Dartmouth ACO (Accountable Care Organization) Project.

About the National Quality Healthcare Award
Created in 1993, the award is the first of its kind to recognize outstanding quality-driven healthcare organizations. For 18 years, first through the National Committee for Quality Health Care and now through NQF, the award has provided encouragement for improvements in quality through public recognition of organizations' accomplishments.

The NQF National Quality Healthcare Award recipient is selected through a blinded review by a panel of jurors composed of national healthcare experts who represent purchasers, government, health systems, and consumers. Information on award criteria can be found here.

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