1. Baldrige award-winning university breaks ground (again) with benchmarking project

    October 4, 2018 by ahmed

    By Jennanelson02 [CC BY-SA 4.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Christine Schaefer

    An assistant chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Stout—a Baldrige Award recipient—helped develop a national benchmarking project that will soon provide comparative data for the nation’s universities to better measure their performance.The project will involve collecting data for performance measures of nonacademic support units within four-year, post-secondary education institutions in the United States. Meridith Wentz, who directs UW-Stout’s office of Planning, Assessment, Research and Quality (PARQ), is playing a leading role in the effort in partnership with the National Higher Education Benchmarking Institute (NHEBI) at Johnson County Community College (JCCC) in Overland Park, Kansas.

    JCCC Executive Director of Institutional Effectiveness, Planning, and Research John Clayton, who oversees the NHEBI, recently conveyed that he is excited by the prospect of the partnership with UW-Stout. “The Benchmarking Institute has provided this kind of data to the two-year college sector for 15 years,” he said. “Since 2004, over 400 two-year colleges have relied on us to provide comparative data on many key indicators to improve efficiency, institutional effectiveness, and student outcomes.”

    Wentz, who is also a senior Baldrige examiner, has overseen several other ground-breaking improvement efforts at her university in recent years. One example, is UW-Stout’s annual “You Said, We Did” institutional improvements based on faculty and staff input.

    “She described the new benchmarking project as “another example of how the Baldrige program has helped [our university] grow and improve.”

    Project Scope and Measures
    Asked how many other universities will be involved in the benchmarking project, Wentz responded, “For the first year [the university’s fiscal year 2019, which begins this fall], we’re targeting 25 to 50 other four-year universities. The long-term goal is to involve over 300 institutions per year.” She added that the NHEBI previously launched a similar initiative involving two-year colleges that has “consistently had 250 colleges per year” reporting data.

    Wentz provided two examples of standard measures for the project, as follows:

    • Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs) allocated to the work of a support unit within a university. Data for this measure will be split between centralized and decentralized staff members, she explained, given that (beyond staff members working full-time in such a unit) universities often have some personnel based in other administrative units on campus who help support the work of centralized units.
    • Budget allocated to the work of a support unit, split by personnel and non-personnel and by centralized and decentralized

    The project also will collect data for outcome metrics, she said, citing as an example the retention rate of faculty and staff members as a measure associated with a university’s Human Resources office.

    Project Phases
    As stated in a recent UW-Stout news story, Wentz said a stimulus for the project was the “need to make our [internal] review process more meaningful using benchmarking data.” Faced with a lack of comparative results to provide context for her office’s performance measurements of UW-Stout support units, Wentz decided to help develop such data. “We wanted to provide more meaningful data for continuous improvement,” she said.

    Wentz and her PARQ colleagues Frank Oakgrove and Elena Carroll are currently developing metrics for the NHEBI project, to be refined based on input from a national advisory board. Data collection for the project will be launched in early November, and the plan is to have results available for use by other universities by mid-February, according to Wentz.

  2. The Baldrige Framework is Borderless!

    September 23, 2018 by ahmed

    Originally posted by Christine Schaefer on Blogrige

    A University President Shares His Baldrige Expertise Internationally
    Luis Calingo is a longtime Baldrige examiner who has led universities in both the United States and Asia. Dr. Calingo has participated regularly over two decades in the Baldrige Award process to help U.S. organizations improve their performance for long-term success. He also has lent his Baldrige examiner expertise to support international excellence programs that are based on the Baldrige Excellence Framework, including those in the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. “The Baldrige framework is borderless!” Calingo observed recently.

    Calingo is currently completing the third year of a five-year presidency at Holy Angel University, located in the Philippines. He has proudly reported that his university adopted the Baldrige Excellence Framework, including the Education Criteria for Performance Excellence, “as our roadmap to quality and excellence.” Under his leadership, the university participated in the tiered, Baldrige-based Philippine Quality Award (PQA) process in 2016. Through the process, Calingo’s university earned recognition for proficiency in quality management—the only applicant so honored that year. A news release described the national award as follows:

    Known as the gold standard for quality and business excellence, the Philippine Quality Award honors the exemplary efforts of organizations in both the private and public sectors in the pursuit of world-class performance excellence. The President of the Philippines presents the Award annually to Philippine organizations. … It is equivalent to the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in the United States and other National Quality Awards worldwide.

    To share Calingo’s insights on his extensive experiences using the Baldrige framework to support excellence in higher education, I recently interviewed him, as follows.

    Would you please describe how you first became interested in becoming a Baldrige examiner?
    I first heard about the Baldrige Award in 1991 when the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)—the main business accreditation body at that time—adopted Total Quality Management as the theme of its conferences. A subsequent consultancy engagement that required me to perform a comprehensive organizational diagnosis of a school district led me to the Baldrige Award’s Criteria for Performance Excellence [part of the Baldrige Excellence Framework]. A couple of years later, I accepted a professorial appointment at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, during which time I served on the technical working group for Singapore’s National Quality Strategy and as an assessor (examiner) for the newly launched Singapore Quality Award. Upon my return to the United States, I applied for and received my first assignment as Baldrige examiner in 1997.

    Calingo (center, holding a Baldrige framework booklet) and group of assessors (examiners) for the Philippine Quality Award.

    Calingo (center, holding a Baldrige framework booklet) and group of assessors (examiners) for the Philippine Quality Award.

    What were your impressions and highlights of your first Baldrige examiner training class (the Examiner Preparation Course), and what have been highlights for you of annual examiner training in subsequent years?

    I recall being intimidated by the prework instructions, which required us to prepare a complete Independent Review Scorebook, using as our only guide the sample “Model Scorebook” from a prior year’s case study. At that time, the only evaluation dimensions we learned were Approach/Deployment/Results. [The dimensions today encompass Approach/Deployment/Learning/Integration for evaluating processes and Levels/Trends/Comparisons/Integration for evaluating results.]

    During the training itself, I immediately felt I was in the company of really bright and insightful folks who had also been very helpful to “newbies” like me. The succeeding years of examiner training saw many demonstrations of continuous improvement, with emphases seemingly rotating among understanding the Criteria and Scoring Guidelines, emphasizing the role of key factors, going back and forth in emphasis between scoring by dimensions and scoring holistically, and achieving some standardization in item evaluation (ergo, the six-step process). The Baldrige Program has practiced what it has preached.

    Would you please share some memorable learning experiences you’ve had as an examiner on evaluation teams during the Baldrige Award process?

    The most memorable learning experience I’ve had as an examiner has been serving as a mentor to new examiners or an internal coach to new team leaders [for the Consensus Review phase of the award process]. The lesson I learned is that my effectiveness as a mentor or as a coach is not determined so much by my ability to answer the newbie’s questions as by my ability to bring out the best in each examiner and cultivate the inquisitive nature of the examiner by having him or her ask the “right” questions.

    How do your family members and colleagues view your service as a Baldrige examiner?

    Naturally, my family has viewed my service as a Baldrige examiner as a major time commitment, and I am truly grateful to them for their support and understanding. At the same time, my family and my colleagues view my participation as a Baldrige examiner as an important form of national service, which helps bring organizations to higher levels of competitiveness, distinctiveness, and excellence. I extended my Baldrige outreach when the Asian Productivity Organization sent me as a technical expert to help seven of its member countries establish their own Baldrige-based national quality award programs.

    Calingo stands with leaders of evaluation teams for the Thailand Quality Award.

    Calingo stands with leaders of evaluation teams for the Thailand Quality Award.

    How have you applied learning from your service as a Baldrige examiner in your leadership positions in colleges in the United States and the Philippines?

    Knowledge of good practices from Baldrige Award-winning organizations, particularly education organizations, has added to my repertoire of approaches for both “running the business” and “changing the business” of higher education institutions both in the United States and the Philippines. In fact, I have led a business school and a university to participate in Baldrige-based quality award programs, resulting in appropriate recognition and the organization-wide motivation that such recognition created. Articulating a leadership system, anticipating blind spots in strategic planning, and designing a comprehensive performance management system are competencies that I would not have acquired were it not for my service as a Baldrige examiner.

    What is your view of the value of the Baldrige framework to postsecondary education organizations?

    Higher education institutions have long valued quality assurance. Whenever they speak of external quality assurance, they often refer to the voluntary peer-review-based accreditation processes performed by regional institutional accreditors (e.g., WASC) and specialized program accreditors (e.g., AACSB). The Baldrige Education Criteria for Performance Excellence, whether applied at the whole institutional or college levels, provides the organization with a comprehensive approach involving multiple stakeholders to prepare for those accreditation reviews.

    I foresee greater alignment between the Baldrige education framework and the organizational standards for accreditation of higher education institutions and programs. Such a system already exists in Thailand, where colleges and universities voluntarily participate in a government-sponsored, voluntary, Baldrige-based self-assessment program called EdPEx 200. EdPEx 200 participants that achieve a certain score, validated after a site visit review, would be exempted from annual government reporting requirements for a predetermined period.

  3. BPIR.com Newsletter: September 2018

    September 17, 2018 by ahmed






    Best Practice Report: Ideas Management System

    This report outlines the best practices research undertaken by BPIR.com in the area of ideas management systems. The best practices have been compiled under seven main headings. This new layout is designed to enable you to scan subjects that are of interest to you and your organisation, quickly assess their importance, and download relevant information for further study or to share with your colleagues?.


    Featured Events


    2nd call for entries: 

    6th International Best Practice Competition & 2nd Organisation-wide Innovation Award


    The  International Best Practice Competition encourages organizations to share their best operational and managerial practices, processes, systems, and initiatives and learn from the experience of others. It provides an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of individuals and teams that have been responsible for creating and/or managing the introduction and deployment of best practices.

    To submit your Best Practice please download an entry form. The second call for entries closes on 21st of September 2018 . Last year there were 65 entries with 28 qualifying to the Competition Event.

    The 6th International Best Practice Competition will be held in Abu Dhabi, UAE, 10-12 December 2018 as part of the  Global Organisational Excellence Congress courtesy of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

    In addition, to the International Best Practice Competition (IBPC) organisations are encouraged to apply for IBPC’s  2nd Organisation-Wide Innovation Award. This award recognises organisations that have embraced best practice learning and combined this learning with their own ideas and creativity to become highly innovative. The award recognises organisations that excel in inculcating an innovation culture throughout all facets of their operation from the leadership to employees and covering all stakeholders leading to innovative processes, products and services. To submit your entry please download an entry form.


    2nd call for entries: 

    6th Global Benchmarking Awards


    The  Global Benchmarking Network (GBN) launched the  Global Benchmarking Award in 2012 to recognise those organisations that had integrated benchmarking into their organisation’s strategy and processes in order to continuously learn and innovate.

    To submit your entry please download an entry formThe second call for entries closes on 21st of September 2018 .

    The 6th Global Benchmarking Award will be held in will be held in Abu Dhabi, UAE, 10-12 December 2018 as part of the  Global Organisational Excellence Congress courtesy of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

    Add the Congress to your calendar



    Latest News

    • The promise of the Baldrige Framework for nursing home excellence….read more
    • Best online tools for Design Thinking….read more
    • Perpetual Guardian founder Andrew Barnes hails four-day week trial….read more
    • Best Practice Report – Ideas Management System….read more
    • What keeps rocket scientists happy at work (could engage your employees, too)….read more



    Benchmarking project to improve maintenance practices

    To improve tool control and maintenance Fonterra, a NZ Manufacturer of dairy products, undertook an external benchmarking project with an airline as a benchmarking partner. The purpose of the project was to observe the partner facilities and learn maintenance best practices using TRADE. Fonterra’s rapid benchmarking team visited the airline’s facilities and questioned their staff. The team learned lessons regarding health and safety standards, culture and values, maintenance operations and performance recording systems. A good number of lessons were learned and as a result of the benchmarking study Fonterra developed a new Operations and Quality Strategy that incorporated the learning from the airline. A whole range of practices were modified or introduced in the areas of health and safety, engagement measurement, values and culture, security and the intranet.

    Do you know that in BPIR.com there are more than 900 expert opinions about improvement tools?? And increasing…


    Business Excellence framework a roadmap for doing business every day

    To achieve an increase in transplant numbers, the Centre for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE), a US organ procurement organisation, began a performance excellence journey with Baldrige with the aims of: 1) Developing a process to identify key processes; 2 Developing a systematic method to evaluate key processes; 3) Transferring the new knowledge throughout the e organisation; 4) Creating a process for innovative and intelligent risk taking. The Baldrige framework became the roadmap for how CORE did business and CORE’s culture for building excellence. Knowledge of the framework was transferred to every level within the organisation. The focus on the key processes resulted in the increase in the number of organs, tissues, and corneas for transplantation, as a consequence. more lives were saved and enhanced. In 2017 became the first organ procurement organization to receive the Excellence Award from the Mid-Atlantic Alliance for Performance Excellence (MAAPE), its highest-level award.


    BPIR Tip of the Month – Finding Expert Opinion about improvement tools


    What you can do here? This growing collection stems, partly, from our monthly request specific Research services and represents valuable learning on a broad and growing range of subjects all of which are relevant to the implementation of particular tools, techniques, or approaches to management or improvement.

    Articles and reports are hand-picked to help ensure that valuable insights and learning can be transferred.



  4. TRADE best practice benchmarking workshops

    September 15, 2018 by admin

    Upcoming workshops in 2018

    • Dec 13 – 14: Benchmarking for Excellence, Abu Dhabi, UAE. (more info)


    Many finalists and winners of the GBN’s Global Benchmarking Award have been users of the TRADE Best Practice Benchmarking Methodology – the methodology developed by the Centre for Organisational Excellence Research (COER). To watch 2016 Winner’s video click here.

    To organise a public TRADE workshop in your country or an In-house Workshop contact the trainer and founder of TRADE, Dr Robin Mann, r.s.mann@massey.ac.nz. Click here for more information on TRADE and its certification scheme.

    Past workshops in 2018

    • Jan 7 – 9: TRADE Best Practice Benchmarking (Dubai We Learn), Dubai
    • Jan 16 – 18: Benchmarking for Excellence, Dubai
    • June 24 – 26: Benchmarking for Excellence, Dubai

    Past workshops in 2017

    • Mar 26 – 28: Benchmarking for Excellence, Dubai
    • Apr 11 – 13: Benchmarking for Excellence, Dubai
    • Apr 16 – 18: Benchmarking for Excellence, Dubai
    • Apr 25 – 26: Benchmarking for Excellence, India
    • Sept 10 – 12: TRADE Best Practice Benchmarking (Dubai We Learn), Dubai. (For Dubai government entities only as part of the Dubai Government Excellence Programme).

    Past workshops in 2016

    • Jan 19 – 21: Benchmarking for Excellence, Dubai
    • Apr 14 – 15: Benchmarking for Excellence, Singapore (more info)
    • Apr 26 – 28: TRADE Best Practice Benchmarking (Dubai We Learn), Dubai. (For Dubai government entities only as part of the Dubai Government Excellence Programme).
    • May 16 – 19: Benchmarking for Excellence in the Public Sector, Pasig City or Tagaytay City, Philippines.
    • Dec 12 – 14: Benchmarking for Excellence, Philippines

    Past workshops in 2015

    • Mar 26 – 27: Benchmarking for Excellence, Singapore (more info)
    • Apr 22 – 23: Benchmarking for Excellence, Dubai – UAE (more info)
    • Apr 29 – 30: Benchmarking for Excellence, Muscat – Oman (more info)
    • Jun 1 – 2: Benchmarking for Excellence, Dubai
    • Sept 7 – 9: TRADE Best Practice Benchmarking (Dubai We Learn), Dubai. (For Dubai government entities only as part of the Dubai Government Excellence Programme).
    • Sept 14 – 16: Benchmarking for Excellence, Manila, Philippines.
    • Sept 21 – 23: Benchmarking for Excellence, Tagatay, Philippines.
    • Sept 28 – 29: Benchmarking for Excellence, Singapore (more info)
    • Dec 1 – 3: Benchmarking for Excellence, Manila, Philippines.

    Past workshops in 2014

    • March 26 – 27: Benchmarking for Excellence, Dubai (more info)
    • April 24 – 25: Benchmarking for Excellence, Singapore (more info)
    • April 28 – 29: Benchmarking for Excellence, Subang – Malaysia (more info)
    • Aug 12 – 13: Benchmarking for Excellence, Wellington – New Zealand (more info)
    • Sept 24 – 25: Benchmarking for Excellence, Abu Dhabi – UAE (more info)
    • Oct 8 – 9: Benchmarking for Excellence, Tehran – Iran (more info)
    • Oct 20 – 21: Benchmarking for Excellence, Dubai – UAE (more info)
    • Oct 22 – 23: Benchmarking for Excellence, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (more info)
    • Nov 20 – 21: Benchmarking for Excellence, Singapore (more info)

    Past workshops in 2013

    • March 7 – 8: Benchmarking for Excellence, Singapore (more info)
    • March 19 – 20: Benchmarking for Excellence, Penang – Malaysia (more info)
    • May 30 – 31: Benchmarking for Excellence, Singapore (more info)
    • September 25 – 26: Benchmarking for Excellence, Dubai – UAE (more info)
    • September 29 – 1 October: Benchmarking for Excellence, Abu Dhabi – UAE (more info)
    • October 9 – 10: Benchmarking for Excellence, Dubai – UAE  (more info)
    • October 23 – 24: Benchmarking for Excellence, Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia  (more info)
    • November 18 – 19: Benchmarking for Excellence, Singapore (more info)
    • November 21 – 22: Benchmarking for Excellence, Wellington – New Zealand (more info) (Registration form)

    Past workshops in 2012

    • January 10 – 11: Benchmarking for Excellence, Qatar (Workshop in Arabic)
    • March 1 – 2: Benchmarking for Excellence, Singapore (more info)
    • March 14 – 15: TRADE Benchmarking Training, London – UK (more info)
    • March 20 – 21: TRADE Benchmarking Training, London – UK (more info)
    • March 27 – 28: Benchmarking for Excellence, Philippines (more info)
    • October 4 – 5: Benchmarking for Excellence, Singapore (more info)
    • December 3 – 4: Benchmarking for Excellence, Auckland – New Zealand (more info)

    Past workshops in 2011

    • Jan 10 – 11: Benchmarking for Excellence, Tehran – Iran
    • Jan 13 – 14, 2011: Benchmarking for Excellence, Singapore (more info)
    • Jan 17: Introduction to Benchmarking Using ‘T.R.A.D.E’ Methodology, Singapore (more info)
    • Feb 13 – 14: Benchmarking for Excellence, Abu Dhabi, UAE (more info)
    • Feb 20 – 22: Benchmarking for Excellence, Kuwait (more info)
    • Feb 28 – 1 Mar, 2011: Benchmarking for Excellence, Singapore (more info)
    • Mar 30 – 31: Benchmarking for Excellence, Wellington – New Zealand (more info)
    • May 8 – 10, 2011: Certified Benchmarking Training, Abu Dhabi, UAE (More Info)
    • May 11 – 12, 2011: Certified Benchmarking Training, Dubai, UAE (More Info)
    • June 27 – 29: Benchmarking for Excellence, Bahrain (more info)
    • July 7 – 8: Benchmarking for Excellence, Mumbai (more info)
    • July 19 – 21: Benchmarking for Excellence, Kuala Lumpur (more info)
    • July 28 – 29: Benchmarking for Excellence, Singapore (more info)
    • August 30 – 31: Benchmarking for Excellence, Wellington (more info)
    • September 28 – 30: Benchmarking for Excellence, Kuala Lumpur
    • October 13 – 14: Benchmarking for Excellence, Singapore
    • November 27 – 29: Benchmarking for Excellence, Abu Dhabi – UAE (more info)
    • December 6 – 8: Benchmarking for Excellence, Kuwait (more info)

    Past workshops in 2010

    • Apr 15 -16: Professional Benchmarking, Glasgow – UK (more info)
    • Apr 21 -22: Professional Benchmarking, London – UK (more info)
    • May 2 – 3: Professional Benchmarking – Bahrain (more info)
    • May 13 – 14: Benchmarking for Excellence, Singapore (more info)
    • May 18 – 20: Benchmarking for Excellence, Kuwait (more info)
    • Jun 7 – 8: Benchmarking for Excellence, Abu Dhabi, UAE (more info)
    • Aug 17 – 18: Benchmarking for Excellence, Auckland, New Zealand
    • Sep 16 – 17: Benchmarking for Excellence, Singapore (more info)
    • Nov 30 -1 Dec: Professional Benchmarking, London – UK (more info)
    • September 17 – 18: Benchmarking for Excellence, Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia  (more info)

  5. The promise of the Baldrige Framework for nursing home excellence

    September 7, 2018 by ahmed

    Originally posted by Christine Schaefer on Blogrige

    I’ve spent a significant amount of time as an adult visiting people in nursing homes (also known as long-term and post-acute care facilities, or nursing care centers). The practice started when I was in college and joined a student-run volunteer program. I was first paired with a blind, wheelchair-bound resident of a nursing care center. At 96, she was still an avid reader, so I mainly spent our visits reading poetry aloud to her and facilitating her use of audio books. Over the following decade in other cities and counties, I continued to provide occasional company for lonely, usually elderly residents in similar facilities as a community volunteer. Eventually, my dog became my more-popular partner for many of those visits.

    After a hiatus in such volunteer work for a few years while I juggled the demands of growing children and my career, I resumed visiting senior citizens in nursing care centers about five years ago. By then, the residents I came to see were my own mother-in-law, followed by my father. At that time, I appreciated from personal experience the favorable impact of the Baldrige Excellence Framework (which includes the Health Care Criteria for Performance Excellence) in promoting excellence in U.S. nursing care centers.

    Aunt B and Christine Schaefer during an August 2018 visit, Credit: Christine Schaefer

    These days, I have another elderly family member to visit in such a place. She’s an aunt of mine who doesn’t have children but has always had me. She first entered a “rehabilitation and health” center to recover from surgery after an injurious fall. Her condition continues to require a level of care beyond what we can provide in her previous home. Although I visit her regularly to support her needs—including that of knowing she has a family advocate no matter where she lives or whether her health further declines—I have reason to believe she would receive good care regardless of my monitoring. Besides other quality indicators I’ve observed first-hand or checked online in publicly reported data, her facility has earned recognition in the Baldrige-based, continuous-improvement program of the American Health Care Association (AHCA)/National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL).

    The AHCA/NCAL award program belongs to the nonprofit Alliance for Performance Excellence—a nationwide network of state, regional, and sector-specific Baldrige-based award programs and a key partner of the federal Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. Using the Baldrige Health Criteria for Performance Excellence as the basis for organizational assessments, the AHCA/NCAL program offers three tiers of recognition annually for participating organizations that provide long-term and post-acute care services in the United States. Those progressive award levels are Bronze (“Commitment to Quality”), Silver (“Achievement in Quality”), and Gold (“Excellence in Quality”).

    Since 2004, 38 organizations throughout the United States have earned the third level of recognition in the AHCA/NCAL award program. They include four 2018 Gold Award recipients that were announced in early August. Each is now eligible for five years to apply for the Baldrige Award—the nation’s highest and only Presidential honor for organizational excellence in U.S. business, nonprofit, health care, and education sectors alike.

    Two years ago, Kindred Nursing and Rehabilitation–Mountain Valley (now Mountain Valley of Cascadia) became the first Gold Award recipient in AHCA/NCAL’s National Quality Award program to proceed to earn a Baldrige Award. To reach that high performance level, the 68-bed, skilled-nursing facility in Kellogg, Idaho, used Baldrige Health Care Criteria-related feedback from the AHCA/NCAL and Baldrige Award programs to help it determine key strengths to leverage and prioritize opportunities to improve.

    As highlighted in a previous blog, the 2016 Baldrige Award recipient’s strengths as a national role model include creating and maintaining an organizational culture of safety, empowerment, innovation, excellence, and “no fear.” With that culture in place, the organization has been able to better address industry-wide challenges such as high staff turnover and a shortage of candidates for registered nurse (RN) and licensed practical nurse (LPN) jobs. (It meets the hiring challenge in part through a “grow-your-own” strategy that supports training for LPNs to become RNs, for nursing aides to become LPNs, and even for some housekeeping staff members to become nursing aides.)

    Given our nation’s growing population of senior citizens, a greater number of Americans than ever before are likely to become residents of skilled-nursing facilities in coming years and decades. They can rest assured that those organizations already must meet many regulatory requirements promoting the health and safety of their short-term (post-acute-care/rehabilitation) and longer-term (nursing care) patients and other residents. But for the greater well-being and satisfaction of such customers—and the employees who serve them, too—who would not want organizations that provide nursing care and homes for incapacitated people to meet criteria that go beyond regulatory compliance to demonstrate excellence across all care-giving and operational processes?

    I have personally spent enough time as a regular visitor in such organizations (10 different facilities in two states!) to understand how a focus on achieving comprehensive, customer-focused excellence at these sites could make a positive difference in the lives of people who live, work, and otherwise see themselves as stakeholders in them. As someone in the latter group, I salute the four new 2018 Gold Award recipients of the AHCA/NCAL award program—and wish them well as they continue their journeys of excellence.