In 2017, Main Line Health set an ambitious goal: eliminate disparities and preventable harm while achieving top decile results around quality and performance, reduce costs through more informed operational decisions, and improve the patient and employee experience.
The not-for-profit health system, which serves areas of Philadelphia and its western suburbs, adopted Baldrige as a framework to better serve these communities and achieve next-level performance excellence throughout the system.
Main Line Health needed to change its culture and build new capabilities to achieve its operational goals. It would take strong leadership, dedicated oversight, expertise in change management, and deep familiarity with Baldrige principles and processes.
Main Line Health partnered with Guidehouse due to its deep expertise in assisting healthcare organizations in cultural transformation and operational effectiveness. This work led to Main Line Health launching an initiative called “Performance Excellence 2020,” aimed at achieving breakthrough organizational performance on population health and clinical outcomes, to help pave the way for financial success under value-based payment models.
Main Line recognized it needed to take proactive measures to ensure expenses under such models would not grow faster than revenues. The health system also understood its financial and performance-quality goals would be out of reach if clinicians and other stakeholders were not engaged in the effort. Success would depend on shared commitment to transforming processes, with a focus on improving quality and revenue performance while avoiding excess cost.
The health system reviewed its regional Baldrige program feedback and Guidehouse’s Baldrige assessment to determine priorities for improving organizational capabilities. The reviews cited opportunities for improvement around “systemness,” or consistency in processes and services delivered throughout the system.
Over a two-year period, Main Line Health’s clinical, physician, and administrative leadership teams collaborated on initiatives with various objectives, including:
Improvements in corporate services
Physician enterprise contracting and operational improvements
Workforce transformation, including improving productivity
Main Line Health was able to improve financial operations by $133 million, with $68 million resulting in clinical transformations, as well as $30 million in workforce, $30 million in corporate services, and $5 million in physician enterprise. Based on its performance and its use of the Baldrige performance excellence framework in achieving clinical and operational improvements, the health system also received a regional award for excellence from the Mid-Atlantic Alliance for Performance Excellence Baldrige program.
Main Line Health’s experience in driving transformational care delivery improvement is a powerful example of how a health system can benefit from reimagining its approach to engaging clinicians and embracing collaboration.