Aim for Excellence Award Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Where can I find the application?
A. The application may be downloaded here.
Q. Is there a limit on the number of applications a hospital facility may submit?
A. Yes, individual facilities may submit only one application.
Q. Is there a limit on the number of applications a health care system may submit?
A. A health system may submit one application for a project implemented within the entire system. The individual hospitals within that system also may submit hospital-specific applications for projects unique to their facility.
Example: St. George Health System has five hospitals (one critical access hospital, two community hospitals, one rehabilitation hospital and one tertiary trauma hospital). St. George Health System has worked across all hospitals to reduce emergency department visits for non-emergent care and have demonstrated success. The system will submit this as a system-level application. However, each of the individual hospitals have been working on different hospital-acquired conditions (sepsis, falls, etc.). Two of the hospitals within the system will submit applications for their fully-implemented programs to reduce HACs, demonstrating early results.
Q. What type of project should be submitted?
A. Any hospital, system-based or hospital-led community-based project that reduces harm, improves health outcomes or improves health status within the community is eligible. Think broadly about initiatives to improve patient safety, quality of care, outcomes and population health. Projects regarding these initiatives are welcomed and encouraged.
Your application should be about a specific project rather than a description of an overall strategy. The project should have a defined problem, a specific intervention and specific metrics that can be quantified and demonstrate data-based results.
Q. What type of application should not be submitted?
A. This award focuses on projects and results rather than generalized descriptions of organizational cultures that support quality and population health. Only in the section “Engagement of Leaders and External Stakeholders” may the organization’s overall quality strategy be briefly mentioned. However, even in this section, the engagement should be connected to the specific project submitted. Include concrete examples of how leaders and stakeholders were engaged in this project.
Q. What if I am not sure which category my project falls under in the Award Category — Clinical Excellence or Care Coordination?
A. The award categories were added to help MHA staff sort the applications into groups for distribution to the judges. Staff preview the applications based on Application Category and then by Award Category. Staff may contact you to reclassify your application if they believe it fits better in a different category. Please do not stress over this — it will not affect your application if you pick one category, but it is decided your project should be judged in the other.
To help you determine your category, the Clinical Excellence category might include common, clinical quality improvement outcomes relating to such topics as falls, CAUTI, CLABSI, etc. The Care Coordination category could, for example, reflect a community model in coordinating care for diabetic patients, working with primary care coordinators, etc. Reducing readmissions could fall under either category, depending on the intervention.
Q. May patient data outside of Missouri be included in the results?
A. A hospital based in Missouri, but also serving patients from other states, may submit projects that include non-Missouri patient data. A health system may submit an initiative that is implemented in Missouri with Missouri hospital/system data and also includes data and hospitals from other states.
Q. May I use charts/graphs in my application?
A. Yes, but ensure they are clear and do not reference the hospital/facility by name. Also, keep in mind that the application is limited to eight pages. We strongly encourage you to upload charts/graphs in a supplemental file. This option is available in the online application program.
Q. Do sources need to be included in the application? If so, where should they be included?
A. Regarding sources, citing in simple terms rather than what is required for publication will help validate your approach. For example, "We adopted the evidence-based model to improve x (primary author last name or agency, year)." If you would like to include a full list of resources as a bibliography, you may add this to the glossary of terms page.
Q. Do the page limits include the questions or only the responses?
A. The page limit does include the questions.
Q. After I have completed my application, what do I do?
A. You must submit your application through the online application program.
Q. What is the deadline?
A. 5 p.m. Monday, May 7
Application Writing Tips
Read each section very carefully. Answer the prompts included in each section.
Although it is first in the application, writing the executive summary last may be easier, and ensure that key application points are summarized into a one-page, stand-alone document.
Remember that this application is intended to showcase projects, not an overall strategy.
Have someone with subject matter expertise, but who is unfamiliar with the project, critically read the application. Ensure they fully understand the project scope, details and results.
Have someone proficient with grammar and spelling edit the application.
Short, succinct, fact-based answers are best. Long, lengthy sentences are more difficult to follow. You are encouraged to use dot points when listing items.
Review your final application thoroughly to ensure hospital/facility name is not referenced.
Verify that the “Application Category,” “Award Category” and “Project Scope” you select in the online application program is the same as what you have selected on your application.
Tips for Using the Online Application Program
Q. If I had an account last year, do I need to set up an account this year?
A. No. Accounts created last year still are active.
Q. I forgot my username and password. Who do I contact?
A. Stacie Hollis at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q. What if I don’t have an account?
A. New users must create an account in order to submit their application.