Benton, AR  Saline Memorial Hospital (SMH) was recently presented their seventh Arkansas Governor’s Quality Award (GQA) by Governor Mike Beebe at the Annual GQA Awards Celebration on September 15th at the Marriott Hotel in Little Rock. More than 400 business and civic leaders from throughout Arkansas attended the celebration.

“The recognition by the Governor’s Quality Award Program was achieved through the outstanding teamwork of our staff, physicians, and leaders,” said Bob Trautman, SMH CEO. “Being involved in this process is just one of the many ways that ensures quality; efficiency and customer service remain at the forefront of what we do.”

The awards ceremony includes four award levels of Performance Excellence (in descending order of qualifications): the Governor’s Award, the Achievement Award, the Commitment Award and the Challenge Award. As well as the recognition, recipients receive an in-depth evaluation of their management systems and a written feedback report citing strengths and areas for improvement.

SMH received the Achievement Award which is intended for organizations that have demonstrated systematic and notable processes through their commitment and practice of quality principles to achieve performance excellence.

Organizations who apply to the GQA program answer questions within the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria to produce an application. These criteria cover seven areas of doing business: 1) Leadership; 2) Strategic Planning; 3) Customer and Market Focus; 4) Measurement, Analysis and Knowledge Management; 5) Human Resource Focus; 6) Process Management; and 7) Results.

Volunteer professionals from organizations across the state are trained as examiners who assess the application, conduct site visits and produce a feedback report. The feedback report tells an organization their strengths and opportunities for improvement using the Criteria as a benchmark.

“We always welcome the two-day site visit with the examiners because it’s a chance to showcase our organization,” said Trautman. “However, the feedback report is the real reason we are involved. We use the feedback to guide and tweak processes that ultimately improves care for our patients.”

In addition to the GQA, SMH achieved the Healthgrades 2014 Patient Safety Excellence Award . The distinction places SMH within the top 5% of all hospitals for its excellent performance in safeguarding patients from serious, potentially preventable complications during their hospital stays according to Healthgrades, the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals.

For more information about the services at SMH, visit or call 776-6764.

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