The fifth annual Marriott Service Excellence Awards spotlight how healthcare institutions have shifted quality improvement initiatives back to the basics of care.
The contest, sponsored by Marriott Health Services and MODERN HEALTHCARE, received 126 entries this year, and 45 were chosen as finalists.
Winners were selected in four categories based on creativity and innovation, evidence of impact and customer focus.
The patient-service award recognizes programs that improve customer satisfaction and the provider's responsiveness to patient needs, preferences and expectations. This year Baptist Hospital, Pensacola, Fla., was awarded for its patient service improvement program.
The values integration award acknowledges programs undertaken to foster a service culture that reflects the organization's values, with special emphasis on how those values enhance patient, employee or community relations. New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens receives this honor for its waste reduction program.
The vision award honors initiatives that support service integration, patient focus and provider collaboration. The Eden Alternative program at Asbury Care Center, a long-term-care facility at Methodist Home in Charlotte, N.C., won in this category.
The internal service award applauds initiatives designed to improve interdepartmental or facility service, teamwork and performance. Yale-New Haven (Conn.) Hospital's Cardiac Clinical Practice Council won this award.
Each of the winners receives $5,000, to be divided evenly between the sponsoring healthcare organization and the project team members.
Judge Kristine Peterson, president of Chicago-based consulting firm K.E. Peterson, noticed two trends among this year's award entries.
"People on the front line of organizations are seizing their own opportunities to create a better outcome and better quality," says Peterson, who chaired the judging panel. In addition, she noticed a "shift in focus away from cost reduction and productivity to a creative, innovative approach to how we deal with people."
Another judge remarked on the wide variety of programs.
"I enjoyed the opportunity to see a very wide spectrum of quality improvement initiatives across many sectors of the healthcare environment," says David Robertson, chief executive officer of Duncan (Okla.) Regional Hospital. "The winners showed significant effort, team spirit and, in many cases, a great deal of creativity."
In addition to Peterson and Robertson, the following judges helped choose the winners:
John Cramer, president and CEO of PinnacleHealth System in Harrisburg, Pa.
David Parmer, president and CEO of Baptist Healthcare System in Beaumont, Texas.
Mark Scott, president and CEO at Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles, Ore.