MODERN HEALTHCARE's Aug. 22 cover story (p. 26), titled "Unique Awards-Everyone's a winner," was not up to your usual standards of fairness and in-depth reporting. Whether or not one agrees with the premise of the article-that there are so many awards that in general they are meaningless-we believe some points of clarification are in order. These deal with the beginning of the article, which focused on The Healthcare Forum's 1994 Commitment to Quality Award, and EHS' achievement by winning that award.
It should be noted that nearly all the healthcare organizations in the nation have embarked on some form of quality program. But it takes an organization that is advanced in continuous quality improvement to put together the necessary, detailed documentation required in The Healthcare Forum award process. Only the best apply because of the significant commitment of time and staff resources. EHS is proud to have been chosen from among this group.
Another significant value of the award process is the critique by The Healthcare Forum, which looks at areas where more work is needed. In addition, the winner is asked to share its quality process and results with others in the field. This emphasis on shared, continuous learning brings an added dimension to our industry.
Most importantly, EHS is not involved in CQI in order to win an award. Our commitment to CQI is predicated on our belief that quality improvement means better value and outcomes for our patients.
We intend to continue to celebrate our receiving the 1994 Commitment to Quality Award with our employees and physicians in recognition of what we have accomplished together through CQI.
RICHARD R. RISK
President, chief executive officer
EHS Health Care, Oak Brook, Ill.