White Memorial

2019 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award


Adventist Health White Memorial is the first organization in Los Angeles—and the only hospital in Los Angeles County—to receive the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The award is the nation’s highest presidential honor for performance excellence.

Every year since 1987, the Baldrige Award has recognized a select few U.S. organizations and businesses that have shown an unceasing drive for innovative solutions to complex challenges, visionary leadership and operational excellence. White Memorial associates, physicians and other supporters have worked for more than a decade to achieve this honor.

The Judges’ Top Picks

Following an intense, multi-day survey at the hospital, Baldrige Award examiners noted several outstanding achievements that led to their choice of White Memorial as one of the six award recipients for 2019. Four achievements caught the attention of the examiners:

  • Since 2014, not a single patient has returned to White Memorial’s Emergency Department for care following outpatient surgery at the hospital.
  • Since 2013, the hospital has been nearly perfect in the recommended timing for treatment of heart attack patients who need balloon angioplasty to open their blocked artery.
  • The hospital pioneered a highly successful program to make our campus a safe zone from gang violence by employing a former gang member as a liaison between us and local gangs.
  • Despite our location in an economically challenged, medically under-served community, we have an AA+ rating from Standard & Poor’s for our 396 days of cash-on-hand. This is hundreds of days better than our nearest competitors.

Components of Our Award-Winning Program

Along with these highlights, the Baldrige Award examiners noted many other achievements in several categories, including:

  • Health care outcomes — Complication rates among the lowest in the nation; a care practice that reduces complications in newborns; and a significant improvement in Clostridium difficile infections that puts us among the best in the nation.
  • Citizenship with results — Our mentorship activities with local young people that has helped hundreds achieve careers they never dreamed were possible; our partnership with TELACU to train more than 224 (and counting) Spanish-speaking, culturally aware nurses from the local community; our award-winning waste diversion program; $28 million raised by the Adventist Health White Memorial Foundation from 2014 to 2018, supporting community health programs; and our 100% compliance with all ethics processes.
  • Patient and other customer process with results — High rankings on the consumer-focused HCAHPS survey in the categories of “would recommend,” timeliness/responsiveness and communication with nurses; improving scores in the categories of medical explanation and communication with doctors; and our active efforts to keep on top of the evolving needs of our patients and community, and to adapt and change to meet those needs.
  • Senior leadership — Servant leadership among our executives, who live our mission by actively volunteering in our community; our commitment to establish guiding principles, convey them to all associates, physicians and volunteers, and live them on a daily basis; and the formal and informal ways our leaders encourage frank, two-way communication.
  • Financial results — Our ability to sustain a dominant leadership position since 2013 across Los Angeles and in our primary market area, with a market share more than 5% higher than our closest competitor; and our market-leading cardiovascular program and women’s services.
  • People process with results — Our steadily decreasing workers’ compensation costs in a time when statewide benchmarks show an increase; our increasing medical resident retention rate that outpaces competing regional hospitals; 100% volunteer satisfaction from 2013 through 2018; performance at or very near the top quartile nationally for physician engagement factors, including for highly satisfied patients; and demonstrated success in our physician development efforts.
  • Process efficiency/effectiveness with results — Our almost 100% use of barcodes to match patients with their medications, which has been proven to increase patient safety; our cleft palate clinic’s 100% compliance with required documentation and medication reconciliation; and our use of a real-time electronic dashboard in our Emergency Department, which helped to reduce average length of stay by 100 minutes over three years.
  • Strategic planning — AHWM uses a robust approach for prioritizing and selecting strategic initiatives through its governance structure, with a flow of information from the workforce to senior leaders through its alignment of the Governing Board, Executive Committee, Organizational Performance Council, and sub councils. Strategic areas of focus are shared through an integrated communication plan including digital, media, print, face-to-face, and events. All of which make a significant impact on the hospital's vision and mission in the community.

Learn More About Adventist Health White Memorial’s Malcolm Baldrige Award