Organizations consider getting prestigious awards as one of the means of improving their performance and market rating. Most of them have embarked on ensuring that they attain the awards. This effort has led to a number of changes.
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The most significant award that organizations strive to achieve is the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which is a mark of quality and success to them. ISO has developed a number of quality awards for various fields. Organizations in these fields compete to achieve them.
The requirements include customer satisfaction and effective resource management amongst others. To achieve these, companies have embarked on ambitious programs and changes in their policies.
One such organization is the Bronson Methodist Hospital located in Michigan. This report focuses on the organization and its pursuit of the ISO certification and other quality awards using the RADAR methodology.
Bronson Methodist Hospital (BMH) is a hospital located in Michigan. As a tertiary center, it offers in-patient and outpatient services to the residents of Michigan as well as other patients from the surrounding areas and elsewhere (Bronson Hospital 2012, p.1).
The institution is over a hundred years old with the history of offering cheap, affordable, and quality medical services. Bronson Healthcare Group (BHG) owns the organization thus regarding it as its flagship organization (Bronson Hospital 2012, p.1).
This organization employs more than 4000 employees in the Kalamazoo area where it is located making it the second largest employer (Bronson Hospital 2012, p.1).
The services delivered include curative preventive and other health-associated services including recreational facilities for both the employees and the community. It has a constituent cardiology clinic, paediatrics, orthopaedic, and other specialized services, which it provides to the region.
The mission is “to provide excellent healthcare services while its vision is to be a national leader in healthcare quality” (Bronson Hospital 2012, p.1). The organization demonstrates quality in its performance. This attribute has led to its recognition through various rewards.
The organization has over 3000 personnel working in the hospital. They are chosen from the institutions that train them within the region and beyond. Their commitment is evaluated before the contract is awarded with accountability being demanded from each of them (Bronson Hospital 2012, p.1).
Working in the highly regulated field of healthcare, the organization recognizes quality as a major requirement in its operations. Therefore, it has a quality assurance scheme. It has also garnered a number of awards and honors in patient care, workforce quality, and facility design (Bronson Hospital 2012, p.1). These will be discussed below.
Awards and Honors
The awards that the organization has attained emphasize and highlight the position of the institution as a leader in quality healthcare provision. In the field of service quality, the organization has won several awards and honors including the ‘Consumer Choice’ award.
Consumers in a survey conducted by the National Research Corporation named the hospital as the best in its class in the Kalamazoo area of Michigan (Bronson Hospital 2012, p.1). This was in consideration of the quality of staff, working environment, and quality of service delivery.
The next award won in the quality and service sector is the distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence (Bronson Hospital 2012, p.1). The organization was recognized as a good performer in the United States in the health sector. It performed at the top five percent alongside other hospitals across the country (Bronson Hospital 2012, p.1).
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T he research conducted and leading to this award concluded that patients have less than 30% chance of dying, and less than 2% chance of developing in-hospital complications (Bronson Hospital 2012, p.1).
The hospital has also received Health Grades Emergency Medicine Excellence Award in four consecutive years since 2009 (Bronson Hospital 2012, p.1). The hospital was ranked among the 5% best performing hospitals in the country (Bronson Hospital 2012, p.1).
‘Health Grades’ has also awarded the organization a number of awards in the year 2011 and 2012. It got the outstanding Patient Experience Award in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 (Bronson Hospital 2012, p.1).
This award establishes patient satisfaction with the services offered in it. In fact, Bronson was ranked alongside other hospitals in the top 15% of the US’ hospitals offering quality services.
The organization also won the patient safety award in 2010 and 2011. This gives the hospital high rankings in the safety of its patients and clients.
Other awards won in this field include the “Michigan Rural Health Quality Improvement Achievement Award (2009, 2010, and 2011),Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospital® for Heart Care (2008), and VHA Leadership Award for Clinical Excellence (2007, 2008) amongst others” (Bronson Hospital 2012, p.1). These awards are in the field of service delivery and patient support.
In the accreditations and rankings, Becker’s Hospital Review ranked the hospital in its “101 hospital with exceptional orthopaedic programs” (Bronson Hospital 2012, p.1). This means that the institution is among the best in the provision of orthopedic services to patients.
The hospital is also ranked as a level I trauma center by the American College of Surgeons. This means that the care accorded to critically injured patients is optimal in accordance to international standards. The hospital has a Primary Stoke Center certification since 2005.
This achievement is indicative of the fact that the standard of care given is according to the national standards expected in the United States. Bronson has also been recognized as a cardiac specialty center due to the cardiac services it offers to the patients.
It was the first hospital in Michigan to attain this accreditation after having beaten other hospitals in the region.
The next accreditation that the organization has earned in this area is the “Magnet Hospital for Nursing Excellence (2009), Breast Imaging Center of Excellence (2008), The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval (2008), Cardiovascular Mark of Excellence Award (2007), The Joint Commission Accreditation (2007), and National Rankings for Orthopedics (1999-2004)” (Bronson Hospital 2012, p.1).
In the workplace category, the organization has received a number of awards and accreditations. On one of the researches done by a local magazine in the US, the company emerged among the top 100 companies offering family-friendly benefits, which have been described as improving the working conditions for women and family in general (Bronson Hospital 2012, p.1).
It also won the award for “West Michigan’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For (2005 and 2009)” (Bronson Hospital 2012, p.1). The organization won the prestigious FORTUNE magazines through its initiative to improve the working conditions for its employees.
Other awards and accreditations in the same area include the VHA Leadership Award for Operational Excellence in the year 2005 and the “Best of the Best” award by MBPA (Bronson Hospital 2012, p.1). These awards recognized the organization as one among the best performing in the region and across the country.
In the fields of Information Technology, the organization has also won many awards. These included a place in the top connected healthcare facilities in 2008.
In the field of facility design, the hospital has won a variety of prestigious awards in projects that it has steered. The bulk of these were achieved in the year 2001 with recognition for the construction and innovation efforts being made.
ISO Certification: RADAR
The organization is pursuing ISO 9000 certification based on the quality of services it offers. The RADAR approaches (Results, Approach, Deployment, Assessment, and Review) are applied with the attaining of certification by the organization expected in the near future (Hoyle 2009, p.13).
The organization has set about improving its service delivery in the areas where it is mainly involved. This effort is an anticipation of the requirements that the standard organization requires. The organization is also in the process of acquiring the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, which requires it to streamline its service delivery.
In its strategic planning, the institution has embarked on steps to achieve the award based on its realization of the various targets. The institution engages with clients to develop an environment that facilitates recovery and safe delivery of services.
The process of acquiring the ISO certification remains the agenda of the hospital at present. This deliverable is being facilitated through the various programs that the institution has established. The branding efforts have also been ongoing.
The efforts will most likely earn the hospital the ISO accreditation (Wiele van der & Williams 1997, p.12). The hospital has improved its service delivery to patients through integration of service charters with the local authorities and the central government.
The quality assurance department realizes that the awards are prestigious. It has therefore come up with guidelines on how to deal with any hindrances to the achievement.
Organizational Performance Results
The hospital has ensured improved health service delivery in the region by providing state-of-the-art services. The mortality rate has dropped over the years, with the number of clients served by the institution increasing. The overall ranking of the institution has also improved.
In fact, it now ranks among the top hospitals in the US. Newer services, which have been established, include the cardiology clinic and the neuroscience departments, which offer the specialized patient care. The institution has also attracted some of the most qualified professionals in all its fields.
By targeting the award, Bronson Hospital will be achieving high levels of excellence as demonstrated by the other awards that it has been awarded. There are a number of areas needing improvement. The institution has ensured that these areas are dealt with accordingly.
The cure rates of common illnesses in the hospital have improved over the years. The institution has embarked on research projects aimed at attaining the same in other areas. In the management of chronic patients, one of the challenges that the hospital faces is the chronic bed ulcers due to long stays in some of the units.
This situation is being reduced by the application of new age technology, which the hospital has acquired in collaboration with her development partners.
The quality of services offered by the hospital in reference to family health has had a series of reviews and improvements (Hillman 1994, p.23). Since the year 2003, the CMS Home Health Quality Initiative (Hillman 1994, p.23), has reviewed the services.
This attempt has found them to be within the expected levels and standards thus leading the institution to be the leader in this area besides being a model for other institutions of its kind in the Michigan area.
The institution has also achieved various goals in client satisfaction, which have enabled it to achieve its desired goals and objectives. High performance and employee satisfaction have also positioned the company as a benchmark for other organizations offering the same services.
An annual employee survey is conducted by the organization to determine the satisfaction and dissatisfaction among the employees. The survey that has been present in the organization since the year 2001 focusing on the departments’ threat underperformed in the previous year.
This has ensured that employees are constantly aware of any changes in the organization thus allowing a room for their contribution. All the employees participate in the survey, as it is conducted over ten days. The overall participation rate has averaged at 85% (Hillman 1994, p.23).
This finding is one of the feedback systems that the company has embarked on to improve service delivery in anticipation for the major awards. The survey is internal to the organization.
For the purpose of standardization, the organization has also partnered with other survey and quality assurance firms across the US to carry out surveys on employee satisfaction in the company in a bid to compare it with the levels expected for such organizations elsewhere in the US.
The organization has also set to improve the working environments with the most significant area being the reduction of occupational safety. The hospital provides occupational safety challenges to the workforce.
The organization has therefore embarked on the education of its workers on ergonomics. This effort is set to change the course of occupational safety in the hospital (Hillman 1994, p.23). Prevention has been targeted as the main method of doing this exercise.
The organization offers friendly services, changes the way employees protect themselves, and ensures that they are protected from all the contagious conditions always. The occupational injuries and conditions have reduced over the years because of the approach adopted by the organization.
The hospital has also achieved a number of milestones in patient care. The increased number of patients especially those with complex healthcare conditions means that the organization is facing challenges in service delivery. However, the organization has embarked on various projects to improve this situation.
In some occasions, the challenge of the hospital bed capacity being occupied has led to ER diversion (Hillman 1994, p.23). The institution therefore developed new strategies to cope with this issue. In fact, an example is the new bed coordinator position that “assigns all beds to patients within the organization (Hillman 1994, p.23).
This was put in place in the year 2003. It enables automated system, which allows the officers in-charge to know all beds that are empty within the hospital (Hillman 1994, p.23).
In addition, the hospital has embarked on the development of other centers to increase its bed capacity and the overall number of patients served both in outpatient and in-patient.
Areas for Improvement
The company has experienced setbacks in several areas. These areas are a key focus in attaining the awards. Some of them include maintaining the services provided and ensuring continued patient satisfaction.
Being in the medical profession, the company will have to deal with the challenges posed by the large population growth, the inadequate health policy, and the legal hurdles. The institution therefore needs to come up with sound policies regarding best practices, which will prevent undesired and unexpected losses of life in the facility.
Another challenge that the institution faces in attaining the award is in the quality of services offered and management. Frequent management changes have hindered the continuity of quality services and maintenance of a stable working environment.
The legal hurdles include court cases that clients have waged against the organization, seeking compensation for poor services, and loss of life in the facility. The facility therefore needs to improve service delivery in this line of work to ensure that the services offered are satisfactory to all the parties involved.
The other aspect that the institution needs to improve on is service delivery time for various procedures. Time efficiency in the organization has been the chief complaint of clients as evidenced by the feedback system.
This issue is due to the long process required to process documents and other personal requirements. With the organization having accreditation by various information technology firms, it should use its IT network to ease the process.
This step will increase its client satisfaction in a bid to ensure that it is granted the ISO certification besides hosting other awards that it seeks.
Any organization that has no vision in the future can be declared as dreamless or dead. Therefore, in consultation across the field of healthcare, the organization in the study has embarked on the ambitious project to have healthcare in the area improve significantly (Hillman 1994, p.23).
It plans to do this by increasing the number of medical specialists, non-medical workers, and other support staff (Hillman 1994, p.23). There is also the target to improve the hospital bed capacity to match that of other centers around the country offering the same level of care.
As an objective, the organization intends to cut the mortality levels in the institution and those especially resulting from avoidable hospital-related causes such as hospital acquired infections by half. This goal will secure it a good reputation thus maintaining its competitive nature in the field of health.
In the past, the organization has set out to expand the services and number of outlets both within it and in other areas of Michigan.
This result will be achieved by collaborating with other players in the heath sector, the local government, and support from its development partners who have supported it throughout its term of service to the population.
This effort will be crucial in earning the institution the coveted ISO certification and the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award that the organization has applied for on several occasions, and which it won in the year 2005.
Over the years, the company has embarked on the achievement of awards. It has not relented in this effort.
The European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) has set out guidelines to be followed in the achievement of its awards (Wiele van der, & Williams 1997, p.12).
Many companies have applied the excellence model across Europe with the scoring process under use being the “EFQM RADAR (Results, Approach, Deployment, Assessment, and Review)” (Wiele van der, & Williams 1997, p.12), which is also utilized in other awards scheme around the world.
Bronson Hospital utilizes this model in its pursuit of outstanding international and local awards. However, the most significant is the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award, which it won in the year 2005 (Wiele van der, & Williams 1997, p.12).
The company is also pursuing the ISO certification using the same criterion. In fact, it is set to achieve this goal given the progress made.
The reason behind the organization’s pursuit of the award is justifiable, as it is for the good of the population it serves, which mainly comprises the sick. The journey has also been transparent. Along it, the company has garnered a number of excellence awards, placing it at the top in service delivery in the health sector.
The organization also utilizes the Kotter steps of pursuing excellence awards. However, this is not followed to completion as done with the RADAR model.
The achievement of an award is considered prestigious in the business field among the various available organizations. Since there are many award schemes in the globe, many processes to be followed exist. All of them are determined by the organizations offering the awards.
The report has focused on the pursuit of a major award by a health organization in Michigan. The report has highlighted the process it followed to realize this dream.
The path it has been following is acceptable as demonstrated by the number of awards that the organization has won along the way. The future developments in the schedule of the organization are therefore guaranteed to earn it the award it is pursuing.
Bronson Hospital 2012, Bronson Honors & Achievements, Home. Web.
Hillman, G 1994, ‘Making Self-assessment Success’, Total Quality Management, vol. 6 no. 3, pp. 29-31.
Hoyle, D 2009, ISO 9000 quality systems handbook using the standards as a framework for business improvement, Elsevier/Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford.
Wiele van der, A & Williams, D 1997, ‘ISO 9000 Series Registration to Total Quality Management: the Transformation Journey’, International Journal of Quality Science, vol. 2 no. 4, pp. 236-252.