Hosts Ben Sawyer, Lisa Counsell and Duffie Dixon continue their conversation with special guest Dr. Leigh Hamby, the Chief Medical Officer of Piedmont Healthcare, with a “deep dive” discussion on how businesses can leverage the Baldrige framework in today’s competitive marketplace. Topics discussed include the challenging environment that a corporate leader of Piedmont Healthcare faces, performance excellence challenges in the Age of Consumerism, and how organizations can best leverage the Baldrige PE framework to accelerate short-term gains and create a sustainable competitive advantage.

Dr. Leigh Hamby/Piedmont Healthcare

Leigh S. Hamby, M.D., MHA, is the chief medical officer at Piedmont Healthcare, the largest healthcare provider in Georgia. His responsibilities include oversight and coordination of medical staff issues at and between Piedmont hospitals. He is responsible for clinical quality initiatives, with a focus on key clinical drivers to improve patient safety.

Dr. Hamby joined Piedmont Atlanta in 2001. He served as a physician advisor and was later named the hospital’s first chief quality officer. Prior to joining Piedmont, Dr. Hamby was the director of healthcare quality and evaluation for VA Atlanta Network.

One of Dr. Hamby’s key accomplishments at Piedmont has been the implementation of Always Safe 2.0, the system’s comprehensive patient safety program. The program is part of Piedmont’s strategic goal of zero harm by 2026.

Always Safe incorporates evidence-based strategies and principles for improving quality and safety. The concept is that safety is every employee’s responsibility, and the principles in the program are applicable for every provider (physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners), nurse, clinician and non-clinical employee of Piedmont Healthcare. The program focuses on specific behaviors every individual can do, every day, to reduce harm. Examples include asking clarifying questions, read back and acknowledge, and nine other error-prevention tools.

After first implementing this program at Piedmont Henry, the hospital was named a 2018 Success Story Award winner from Press Ganey, one of only 16 organizations in the country to receive that award for its innovation and leadership in transforming patient care.

The results have turned Piedmont into one of the safest systems in the country. In the Leapfrog Fall 2018 Hospital Safety Grade, six Piedmont hospitals earned A grades, double that of any system in Georgia, and two others earned B grades. Among those hospitals that did not earn A’s were three that had recently joined the Piedmont system and were not yet on Piedmont’s electronic medical record software, Epic.

Under Dr. Hamby’s leadership, Piedmont has renewed its focus on preventing the occurrence of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). In Fiscal Year 2017 and Fiscal Year 2018 (the period from July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2018), Piedmont achieved a 40 percent reduction in HAIs. Since Fiscal Year 2016 (ending June 30, 2016), Piedmont has seen a 68 percent reduction in HAIs to the present (352 to 112).

About SOAR Vision Group

The SOAR Vision Group mission is to: Align People with Purpose to Achieve Exceptional Results. SOAR provides best practice strategy execution, business process optimization services, and a structured organizational development approach for organizations to effectively implement the Baldrige Performance Excellence framework. For more information, contact SOAR Vision Group at (888) 294-3303 or visit

About the Baldrige Foundation

The mission of the Baldrige Foundation is to ensure the long-term financial growth and viability of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, and to support organizational performance excellence in the United States and throughout the world. The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is presented annually by the United States President to organizations that demonstrate quality and performance excellence. For more information, contact the Baldrige Foundation at (202) 559-9195 or visit

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