Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Public Affairs and Administration

First Advisor

Dr. Robert Peters

Second Advisor

Dr. Patricia Reeves

Third Advisor

Dr. Kieran Fogarty

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Marianne Di Pierro


Medical errors, Quality healthcare, Quality awards, U.S. Hospitals, Hospital administration


This study examined performance outcome data from the Medicare Compare Hospital database for differences in performance between national award-winning hospitals and non-national award-winning hospitals. Specific variables examined were related to clinical care and were identified in literature as well as professional medical associations and societies as being quality indicators. National award-winning hospitals were defined as those having received the Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award in Healthcare or the Healthgrades Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence. The characteristics of highly reliable organizations were also used to align the indicators of excellence for Malcolm Baldrige and Healthgrades recipients. Finally, a closer examination of data from three high-risk departments—Obstetrics Units, Emergency Departments and Operating Departments—within hospitals that had received national quality awards and those that had not was conducted to see if there was a difference in performance in high-risk areas. Through quantitative analysis, findings indicate overall that those hospitals receiving a national quality award performed better in more variables than those hospitals that have not received a national quality award. Contributions of this work lie in the alignment of national awards to the characteristics of highly reliable organizations and more concrete analysis on performance for hospitals to review as their journey toward quality and patient safety continues.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access