The MaineHealth Operational Excellence Team – a systemwide group of performance improvement professionals – has been awarded the 2017 Quality Improvement Leadership Award by Maine Quality Counts, a nonprofit organization working to transform health and health care. This award recognizes an individual or organization that has introduced innovations, used creativity, and embraced risk-taking in its leadership of demonstrably successful quality improvement initiatives. The award was presented at the 14th annual QC Conference April 5 at the Augusta Civic Center.

One aspect of the Operational Excellence program is the “Gemba walk,” where leaders visit numerous departments every day to talk directly with teams about the work being done there. Department personnel collect data on the issues they wish to improve (referred to as key performance indicators and share this information at the Gemba walk.

Pen Bay Medical Center celebrates its 1000th KPI, awarded to the Birth Center, for supporting the “Safe Sleep Initiative” for infants. This KPI provided education for colleagues and new families, promoting safety of the newborn’s sleep environment.  As a result of this initiative, the department is developing a policy addressing safe sleep for newborns and will be creating a hospital-based infant safe sleep program. These actions will meet the eligibility requirements for the facility to achieve “Bronze Certification” by the “Cribs for Kids” hospital certification program.  This certification is recognized by the National Institutes of Health and the American Academy of Pediatrics, as the national standard for safe sleep of infants.

PMBC also celebrates Operational Excellence’s Most Engaged Clinical Teams – the Cancer Care Center and Waldoboro Family Medicine, as well as Most Engaged Support Services Teams – environmental services (Housekeeping) and fiscal services.

Waldo County General Hospital is currently celebrating the full roll-out of this initiative.  WCGH currently has 58 departments participating and colleagues have completed more than 400 improvement initiatives.