The Baldridge Quality Improvement Program

October 05, 2012

Steven Stites
Steven Stites Acting Executive Vice Chancellor, Acting Dean, KU School of Medicine

While I was on vacation in September, I asked Steffani Webb to use this newsletter to update the campus on the dramatic changes she is making as Vice Chancellor for Administration. In that update, she noted that several departments on the Kansas City campus were beginning to implement the principles of the Malcolm Baldrige Quality Improvement Program, a division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the U.S. Department of Commerce. This is a tested, proven program for improving the way organizations function. The Baldrige Criteria provide a validated, comprehensive management approach that focuses on results in all areas, organizational and personal learning, and knowledge sharing. 

I've recently learned more about how this is working, and I want to let everyone know how enthusiastic I am about what is about to happen as a result.

Whether we're in Kansas City, Wichita, Salina or elsewhere in Kansas, every one of us at KU Medical Center is united in a single effort as defined by our strategic plan: "To provide leadership to shape the future of health and health care." Yet how can each us contribute to this goal if we're not teaching students, seeing patients, conducting research or directly involved in the health of communities? Our strategic plan lays out clear goals for advancing KU Medical Center's four traditional missions. But I want to emphasize that the plan has equally clear goals related to overall organizational effectiveness - and serious transformation has begun to take place in those areas.

Specifically, 168 supervisors, managers and other leaders in 16 major units recently began an intensive leadership training program that will ultimately result in a new culture at KU Medical Center. The first round of training involves people from: Administrative Services; Communications; Compliance; Enterprise Analytics; the EVC's office; Facilities; Human Resources; Information Resources; Institutional Finance; the Laboratory Animal Facility; the new Office of Organizational Improvement; Police, Parking and Landscaping; Research Operations; and Student Services.

Obviously, that's a diverse set of departments providing a wide array of services - each one of them essential to our ability to conduct business. Over the next several months, people involved in the training will learn new skills and develop new tools to build a culture of excellence and create a resilient, adaptive and high-performing organization, with newly energized and engaged employees. And then - this is important - they will develop methods for continually assessing and improving their performance.

The guiding principles this group has adopted sound a lot like my famous Five Rules. But rather than repeating those rules, which I know you all have memorized by now, I thought I'd share Steffani Webb's vision as she articulated it to me:

  1. KUMC is a place of teaching and learning, research and discovery, caring and healing, outreach and service.
  2. We believe in possibilities. And we focus on them intently.
  3. Our leaders are inspiring.
  4. Our employees are awesome.
  5. Our organization is a great place to be, and it gets better every day.

Steffani and her newly minted leaders are dedicated to proving that this vision can be achieved - and ultimately expanding to the entire medical center. To those who have invested the time and effort to go through this training, I applaud you, I thank you - and we all look forward to the results.

October is open enrollment month for state employees. This is the time to change health insurance companies, add or drop dependents from coverage, add or drop dental or vision coverage or change tax status. You can visit the State of Kansas website to make any changes in your coverage. There are also two informational meetings on open enrollment for KUMC employees on Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in Lied Auditorium.
KUMC has joined other medical schools nationwide in the Association of American Medical College's (AAMC) support of Joining Forces, a national initiative started by First Lady Michelle Obama that mobilizes all segments of society to give service members and their families the opportunities and support they have earned. You can learn more about our efforts at the KUMC Joining Forces website.
John Dorsch, M.D., an associate professor of family and community medicine at the School of Medicine–Wichita, is one of seven Fort Hays State University alumni who will be honored Friday during homecoming celebrations. Dr. Dorsch will receive an Alumni Achievement Award, which recognizes graduates who have made outstanding and unselfish contributions in service to their community, state or nation as citizens, in chosen career fields, or through philanthropic work. 
Chris Meiers, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor and registrar, has been selected to receive the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Region IV-West Literature/ Research Publications Award for "Item Response Theory Scaling of an Academic Medical Center Student Satisfaction Survey." Dr. Meiers will be recognized at the NASPA Region IV-West Conference in November.
Last modified: Oct 05, 2012