New Jersey hospital wins Baldrige award

Until St. Louis’s SSM Healthcare broke the barrier in 2002, no health care system had won the coveted Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Now there are four.

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Hamilton, NJ, is the most recent winner. Among the achievements for which it was honored, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital got its highest marks for customer loyalty; dramatic reductions in emergency department waiting times; surpassing national averages on a number of key quality indicators; and increasing retention rates for registered nurses to 99%.

Other previous health care winners include Baptist Hospital Inc. of Pensacola, FL, and St. Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City, MO (2003).

AHRQ releases new diabetes care guide

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), in partnership with the Council of State Governments, has released Diabetes Care Quality Improvement: A Resource Guide for State Action and a companion workbook, both of which are designed to help states assess the quality of diabetes care and develop quality improvement strategies.

"As the lead federal agency supporting research in the quality, cost-effectiveness, and safety of health care, AHRQ is arming health care professionals, policy-makers, and local leaders with evidence-based information designed to facilitate improvements in diabetes care," said AHRQ director Carolyn M. Clancy, MD, in announcing the publication.

The guide and workbook provide an overview of the factors that affect quality of care for diabetes, present core elements of health care quality improvement, assist state policy-makers in using the data from AHRQ’s 2003 National Healthcare Quality Report for planning state-level quality improvement activities, and provide a variety of best practices and policy approaches that national organizations, the federal government, and states have implemented related to diabetes quality improvement.

The workbook includes six modules developed for state leaders as well as officials in state health departments, diabetes prevention and control programs, and Medicaid offices.

Some modules are targeted for senior leaders responsible for making the business case for diabetes quality improvement and taking action, while other modules provide the information necessary for program staff to develop and implement a quality improvement strategy.

The goal is that all groups involved in diabetes care work together as a team to improve the quality of diabetes care.

Diabetes Care Quality Improvement: A Resource Guide for State Action and its companion workbook can be found on-line at www.ahrq.gov/qual/diabqualoc.htm.

Printed copies may be ordered by calling (800) 358-9295 or by sending an e-mail to ahrqpubs@ahrq.gov.