Patient-Focused Excellence

Patient-Focused Excellence - Baldrige Health Care Core Value

(Click on any blue word below to link to its definition)

Patient-Focused Excellence

Performance and quality are judged by an organization’s patients and stakeholders. Thus, your organization must take into account all attributes of patient care delivery (including those not directly related to medical/clinical/health services) and support that contribute value to your patients and stakeholders. Such behavior leads to patient and stakeholder acquisition, satisfaction, preference, and loyalty; to positive referrals; and, ultimately, to business expansion. Patient-focused excellence has both current and future components: understanding today’s patient and stakeholder desires and anticipating their future desires and health care marketplace offerings.

Value and satisfaction may be influenced by many factors throughout your patients’ overall experience with your organization. Primary among these factors is an expectation that patient safety will be ensured throughout the health care delivery process. Additional factors include a clear understanding of likely health and functional status outcomes, as well as patients’ relationship with the health care provider and ancillary staff, cost, responsiveness, and continuing care and attention. For many patients, the ability to participate in making decisions about their health care is considered an important factor. This requires patient education for informed decisions. Characteristics that differentiate one provider from another also contribute to the sense of being patient-focused. Such differentiation may be based on ease of access, time to appointment, number and breadth of health care services, and innovative patient conveniences (e.g., valet parking, gourmet menus, or hotel accommodations).

Patient-focused excellence means much more than reducing errors, merely meeting accreditation specifications, or reducing complaints. Nevertheless, these factors contribute to your patients' and stakeholders'’ view of your organization and thus also are important parts of patient-focused excellence. In addition, your organization’s success in recovering from accidents, service errors, and other mistakes is crucial for retaining patients and engaging patients and stakeholders for the long term.

A patient- and stakeholder-driven organization addresses not only the health care service characteristics that meet basic patient and stakeholder requirements but also those features and characteristics that differentiate the organization from its competitors. Such differentiation may be based on innovative offerings, combinations of health care service offerings, customization of offerings, multiple access mechanisms, rapid response, or special relationships.

Patient-focused excellence is thus a strategic concept. It is directed toward obtaining and retaining patient loyalty, referral of new patients, and market share gain in competitive markets. It demands constant sensitivity to changing and emerging patient, stakeholder, and market requirements and to the factors that drive customer engagement. It demands close attention to the voice of the customer. It demands anticipating changes in the health care marketplace. It demands a patient- and stakeholder-focused culture. Therefore, patient-focused excellence demands organizational agility. +

Note: Blue words above are links to other Core Values or Baldrige Glossary terms.




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Baldrige Program Failure 2022

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