FirstHealth of Carolinas Receives N.C. Awards for Excellence
FirstHealth of the Carolinas has received a North Carolina Award for Excellence (NCAfE), the only Baldrige criteria-based award granted by the state for achieving performance excellence.
The four-level program helps organizations by assessing their performance using the Baldrige criteria as they progress toward performance excellence. The organizations submit responses to the Baldrige criteria, which are assessed by a group of NCAfE examiners and verified during a site visit. Subsequently, NCAfE provides a formal feedback report that identifies the organization's strengths, opportunities for improvement and item scoring.
In 2005, FirstHealth of the Carolinas became only the second hospital to receive an award in this program since it began in 1991.
FirstHealth's performance improvement since 2005 led this year to its receiving the "Advancement" award, the second highest level attainable in the four-level classification program.
The Advancement Award is given to organizations that have demonstrated, through their commitment and practice of performance management principles, significant progress in building sound and notable processes as well as results directly attributable to a systematic, well-deployed approach. Organizations at this award level have many practices from which other organizations can learn.
FirstHealth of the Carolinas is a private, nonprofit health-care system based in Pinehurst. It includes three acute-care hospitals, and such outpatient services as home health, hospice and rehab, physician practices, emergency medical transport, dental care centers, a health plan, fitness centers and a pharmacy.
FirstHealth provides services to patients in a 15-county area in North and South Carolina. Its flagship hospital, Moore Regional, was designated in 2006 as a Magnet Hospital and as Cardiovascular and Bariatric Centers for Excellence by Blue Cross Blue Shield.
FirstHealth's strategic objectives include quality, performance, growth, human resources and communication. The organization is the largest employer in its primary service area, and its facilities cover more than 1.2 million square feet.
Three key factors for its success include consistent delivery of high-quality health care, state-of-the-art technology and the public's accessibility to services that the system provides, it said in a news release.
One of seven NCAfE recipients for 2006, FirstHealth was recognized during a special NC Conference for Excellence awards luncheon on Oct. 31.
The North Carolina Awards for Excellence (NCAfE) process is a cooperative industry, academic and government initiative to improve organizational competitiveness and to provide recognition for performance excellence. The process provides expert feedback to organizations based on their accomplishments relative to the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence.
Examiners are trained to evaluate, comment upon and score each participant's criteria response, and prepare feedback reports for participants.
The program was formed in 1989 as a foundation through an executive order of the governor and then transferred to the Industrial Extension Service (IES) at North Carolina State University in 2001.
IES is the statewide arm of N.C. State University that partners with business and industry to transfer knowledge and technology.
Since 2000, as reported by the organizations served, its services have generated more than half a billion dollars of positive economic impact for North Carolina.
Created in 1955 within the NCSU College of Engineering by an act of the General Assembly, IES is the oldest service of its kind in the nation. For more information, go to www.ies.ncsu. edu/"www.ies.ncsu.edu.
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