By Christine Schaefer
Becker’s Hospital Review recently named Nancy Schlichting, CEO of the 2011 Baldrige Award-winning Henry Ford Health System, on a list of “17 of the Most Interesting People in Healthcare.” The accompanying write-up, by Mary Rechtoris and Laura Dyrda, noted that Schlicting “led the system through a dramatic financial turnaround and focuses on patient safety, customer service, and diversity initiatives.”
Rechtoris and Dyrda pointed out that Schlichting is “known for her work with legislative and business leaders to improve health services while providing affordable care.” And they noted that “in 2015, President Barack Obama appointed Ms. Schlichting chairperson of the Commission on Care to work with the Veteran’s Health Administration to find the best way to deliver care to veterans.”
Schlichting has received numerous accolades for her health care leadership. For example, she was named by Modern Healthcare among “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” in 2013 and by Crain’s Detroit Business “newsmaker of the year” in 2012. In a related interview for Blogrige at that time, Schlichting described how the seven categories of the Baldrige Health Care Criteria for Performance Excellence helped Henry Ford Health System: “The seven-pillar framework became the basis for strategic planning, measurement and review, prioritization and resource allocation, and improvement and innovation across Henry Ford Health System,” she said.
In regard to innovation, earlier this year Becker’s Hospital Review recognized Henry Ford Health System among “40 hospitals with innovation centers.” The publication described a redesigned patient gown as one of the innovations from the center at Henry Ford Health System, stating that the “Model G Patient Gown … prioritizes patient comfort—notably the closed backside—while maintaining clinical function.”
The leaders of Henry Ford Health System, according to Schlichting’s remarks at the 2012 Baldrige Award ceremony, found that the Baldrige framework was not just about improvement and measurement but also about core values, culture, and a vision for the future. “For those considering the Baldrige framework, I want to testify to the magnitude of results you can achieve,” Schlichting stated at the ceremony. “It was the use of the Baldrige framework that boosted our ability to deliver better care to our patients.”
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