Baldrige Site Visit

Baldrige Site Visit Problems Appear to Not Be Going Away


Baldrige Examiner Site Visit Training Discontinued: Before we look at the apparent site visit problems, it is important to know that Baldrige has inexplicably discontinued site visit training as part of Baldrige Examiner Training. Site visit training was long  considered by many as the most valuable part of training. It helped ensure the both new and experienced Examiners were prepared. It gave an opportunity for Examiners with site visit experience to share what they learned about what worked and what did not. It also served as a form of benchmarking where experienced Examiners could compare and improve based on what they learned from others. For these reasons and others, it was often conducted near the end of Examiner training. In the earliest years, the Senior Examiners would make a second trip to Gaithersburg for site visit leadership training.

Baylor Plano Hospital Debacle: Baldrige has inexplicably discontinued site visit training for several years now. This means that Examiners who have never seen each other before meet less than 24 hours before the start of a site visit without being adequately trained. It is a recipe for disaster which the Baldrige Winner Baylor Plano Hospital site visit outcome appears to attest to. See: Baylor Plano winner debacle. In the case of Baylor Plano, the problems that led to their refusing to attend the award ceremony were apparently abundantly clear to its employees, law enforcement officials, and the general public via the media prior to the site visit. As a four-time Baldrige site visit team leader back when we had site visit training, I cannot imagine how a site visit team could fail to detect an apparently obvious problem of this magnitude or how they could fail to document it in their site visit report. I cannot also imagine how the Baldrige Judges could ignore it as a disqualifier unless they were never made aware of the problems. We may never know what really happened but we do know that site visit training would have almost assuredly prevented this unfortunate embarrassment.

Note to reader: If you are not already aware, there are usually multiple Examiner Training sessions per week over a course of four weeks. So, the likelihood of Examiners assigned to a site visit never having met each other until 24 hours before the visit is rather high.

The Reported Texas Health Dallas Ebola Site Visit: Let's be clear, the 'Ebola Site Visit' never actually occurred . . . but, not because of Baldrige. The visit was scheduled the week the dying patient and the infected staff members were present in the Texas Health Dallas Hospital . . . according to the Dallas Morning News. When Texas Health Dallas realized the seriousness of the contagious Ebola, it is reported that they requested Baldrige to cancel the visit. Undeterred, Baldrige is reported to persist in wanting to conduct the visit and even offered to do it over the phone. I find this difficult to believe because if it is true, Baldrige was in effect offering to do a 'site-less and visit-less" site visit. More than this being a very bad idea, it would be unfair to the other applicants.

An anonymous source at Baldrige informed me that a site visit process team was convened to "write a site visit process" after these back-to-back site visit debacles. I was surprised to learn this because Baldrige has long had a well-documented site visit process that would have in all likelihood prevented both the Baylor Plano and the Texas Health Dallas Ebola disasters. What happened to it? Was it discontinued like the site visit training?

Site Visit Fix Recommendations:

  1. Restore site visit training to Examiner training
  2. Do not restore it in a limited manner. It needs to be thoroughly explained and include site visit simulation exercises


Breaking Badrige . . . Baldrige's problems continue to worsen

Baldrige Criteria Problems & Flaws