Small Community Hospital Receives Baldrige National Quality Award; Lessons Learned

January 6, 2015

by Lisa D. Ellis

Hill Country MemorialHill Country Memorial (HCM) in Fredericksburg, TX, is a small community hospital that’s accomplishing big things. It was one of four organizations nationwide to receive a 2014 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for achieving excellence in its efforts. Now, Hill Country Memorial plans to use this national recognition as a platform to share its lessons learned over the past few decades and to continue to garner support—both internally and externally—to further its efforts to provide the highest quality of care for area residents.

Standing apart from the competition

As a nonprofit organization serving a rural area with a population of just 10,000, on paper HCM might seem like a long-shot for beating out larger health care systems, especially at a time when similar small hospitals are faltering or even going out of business. But HCM is different. This organization, which provides inpatient, outpatient, and emergency services, has made a concerted commitment to stay strong and to invest in quality improvement on an organizational-wide level. This commitment, and the steps HCM implements to continually take its performance to new levels, is what helps to set it apart from the competition.

What also distinguishes HCM is its strong ties to the community. This relationship stems from the fact that 93 percent of the local households in Gillespie County contributed to building the hospital in 1971, according to Debbye Dooley, Executive Director of Business Intelligence for HCM. That’s why today, the hospital maintains very close ties with the community and goes to great lengths to provide outstanding care for residents, continually assessing its efforts and looking for ways to make things even better.

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