Heartland Health in St. Joseph, Mo., and AtlantiCare in Egg Harbor Township, N.J., are two of five winners of the 2009 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Established by Congress in 1987 and named after former Commerce Secretary Malcolm Baldrige, the award is the nation's highest honor for performance excellence and quality achievement.

Two-hospital AtlantiCare was recognized for a number of achievements, including placement in the top 10 percent of Medicare performers for treating congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction and pneumonia. Based on CMS data, the organization also ranked seventh out of 4,200 hospitals for patient outcomes in 2006 by the Commonwealth Fund. AtlantiCare also was recognized for its use of electronic health records and participation in a health information exchange.

Anchored by Heartland Regional Medical Center and with more than 30 clinics, Heartland Health also offers an insurance plan. The delivery system is rated in the top 15% of hospitals nationally for patient safety according to HealthGrades, an independent rating organization. Heartland also was recognized for its use of an EHR and HIE.

Other 2009 Baldrige Award winners are manufacturer Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies in Kansas City, Mo.; small business Midway USA in Columbia, Mo.; and not-for-profit VA Cooperative Studies Program Clinical Research Pharmacy Coordinating Center in Albuquerque. The winners were selected from 70 applicants.

More information is available at http://baldrige.nist.gov/.

--Joseph Goedert

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