The Criteria for Systemic Cost and Quality Enhancement

Guidehouse's Rulon Stacey, Ph.D. and Kate Goonan, M.D. via The Governance Institute

In today’s healthcare industry there is more pressure to perform than ever before. The complex challenge of reducing costs while also improving quality can drive boards and executives to look for quick fixes and silver bullets. For years, the healthcare industry subscribed to the notion that society had to choose between low costs and high quality. But healthcare consumers have now seen through that argument and rightfully expect both simultaneously. 

This complex dyad cost/quality challenge drives governing boards and executives alike to look for quick fixes and silver bullets. Like a physician who orders Tylenol for a post-op patient with a fever without considering the possibility of sepsis, administrators sometimes reach for tactical solutions that do not always address the overall systemic causes or create sustainable solutions. 

In this article, Rulon F. Stacey, Ph.D., FACHE, and Kate Goonan, M.D., discuss how the Baldrige framework can be used to drive longer-term systemic transformation to address both cost and quality, and ensure improvements are sustained through measurable results.


The Pressure to Perform


Source: All the exhibits in this article were adapted from the Baldrige Framework
(available at


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