Congrats to Mary Greeley Medical Center for Receiving the Baldrige Award!


Today, I'd like to celebrate my friends at Mary Greeley Medical Center in Iowa for being one of six healthcare organizations to receive the 2019 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Read more in this news story or this press release. MGMC is the first Iowa organization to receive this award.

Among the factors that led to this:

“A workplace culture that emphasizes open communication, high performance, and patient safety.”

I've had the opportunity to visit MGMC three times — one time to speak at a internal quality recognition meeting, once to speak at an event co-hosted by the Iowa Lean Consortium, and once for a few days to conduct a “Kaizen Kickoff” workshop where I coached them on daily continuous improvement. It was actually a “KaiNexus Kickoff” as that was also the point when they started using our software platform to help manage their Kaizen improvement activity.

Read about the ILC event here:

And here's more about what I saw in that visit:

Leadership Makes the Difference

The leadership at MGMC has always impressed me. I'd like to give recognition to Karen Kiel-Rosser, a VP and Quality Improvement Officer, for her efforts and leadership. You can hear a podcast we recorded about their Baldrige journey back in 2015:

I'd also like to recognize their CEO, Brian Dieter, who leads by example through his participation in daily safety huddles and in other ways. Brian doesn't just “sponsor” Lean and quality — he's actively driving it. Here is a blog post that talks about their huddles and his role:

Here is a video that KaiNexus recorded with Brian talking about how they “want to get better at getting better.”

One of the other leaders at MGMC is Ron Smith, the Manager of Performance Improvement and Lean Facilitation. Ron and his team have done a great job of spreading and sustaining improvement practices there.

You can watch a webinar that Ron and Karen did for KaiNexus a few years back:

And here is my blog post about that webinar, if you'd rather read than watch:

Ron and Karen also did a podcast together with me about their “WorkOut” improvement process — one of the many modes of improvement that they use:

My favorite story about MGMC might be what Karen shared with me about making the common (if not hopeful) healthcare expression of “patient safety is always our top priority” into reality:

Mary Greeley has received coaching the past few years from Kay Kendall and Glenn Bodinson of the firm BaldrigeCoach. Here is a podcast that I did with Kay about Lean and the Baldrige approach a few years back:

Congrats again to Mary Greeley Medical Center and my friends there!! Maybe we'll be able to do another podcast or webinar for them to share more about their journey.


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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

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