Banner Health Case Study

Banner Health is a non-profit organization operating in 23 hospitals together with numerous specialized facilities across 7 states. The seven states include Nevada, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, Alaska, California and Arizona. Its headquarters are based in Phoenix Arizona, United States. The organization was founded in 1999 and employs approximately 39,000 employees. According to Banner Health (2017), the Banner Health’s Board in 2001 formulated and adopted its mission statement which is “make a difference in people’s lives through excellent patient care”. Whenever the organization is making decisions, it relies on its mission.

Banner Health Strategic Initiatives

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A set of strategic initiatives are according to Joint Commission Resources, Inc. (2011), approved yearly by Banner Health where 30% to 40% involves patient/clinical goals. In 2006, strategic initiatives were set by Banner Health, which involved arriving at upper quartile performance in clinical quality metrics like pneumonia, surgical care, acute myocardial infarction and heart failure. They are progressively working their way towards achieving that initiative, and in all the metrics, they are currently in the 80% percentile. According to CCC (2013), the organization has been recognized by Thomson Reuters among the 10 health systems in United States for clinical performance and quality in the core measures. Additionally to these clinical outcomes goals, the organization has identified patient safety goals which include the reduction of hospital acquired conditions, central line infections, re-operative bleeds after graft surgeries are bypassed by coronary artery, and uterine tachysystole due to oxytocin.

Allocating Resources for Quality

In achieving its strategic initiative, Banner Health is supposed to have sufficient resources. As Hensing the chief medical officer states, “I enjoy a very engaged and supportive board that has made major resource and allocation decisions for investments to improve Banner’s quality and patient safety.”(Joint Commission Resources, Inc., 2011). CCC, (2013) explains that some of the recent investments approved by the board in improving the patient safety include: an obstetrical clinical decision support system, a 55,000 square simulation medical centre in Mesa, Arizona, an electronic medical record system, and electronic intensive care unit.

Improving Medication Safety

According to Joint Commission Resources, Inc. (2011), Banner Health leaders have been charged by the board quality committee to conduct a yearly prospective risk assessment that will systematically analyse and identify vulnerabilities that are in the organization and priotizing improvement initiatives. The board members who are working with staff and patients participate in risk assessment. The board quality committee then reviews the recommendations. In the risk assessment, the board’s input is valued by the organization. Due to the many on-going and new projects that are related to medication safety, the board has put its focus on project management which assists them in organizing their project in a more sophisticated manner.

Educating Board Members

The board members of Banner Health come from different backgrounds, including laboratory, financial, information technology and medical. Every board members takes individual expertise to the table, but some may have limited knowledge on quality improvement and clinical issues. As the chief medical director states, “we want to keep our board highly educated, so we provide them with various resources for information regarding health care issues in general, clinical quality and patient safety” (Joint Commission Resources, Inc. 2011). This is achieved for example during the orientation of a new member in the board, clinical quality and patient safety is discussed at length. Afterwards, Banner Health gives an on-going education through presentations during board meetings from external speakers or internal leaders who are experts in clinical quality and patient’s safety.

Banner Health’s Future Focused Merger

According to Joint Commission Resources, Inc. (2011), Banner Health faces the new consumerism reality of investing in a merger with the state’s land grant university health system. In 2015, it merged with the University of Arizona Health Network where it led to the creation of a thirty-year academic affiliation agreement with the University of Arizona (UA). The reason for merging with the UA is to influence the future of academic medicine due to a strong belief that it is where healthcare starts.

Securing Physician Commitment to Care Reliability

Banner according to CCC (2013) is taking its mission further as it turns it into a clinical vision to provide reliable, wide high quality care system. This vision is supported by employed and independent physicians as it aligns with their values. It puts its physicians at the forefront to develop system-wide care standards and clinical strategy. However, the Banner Health Organization does not incorporate in its clinical vision cost reductions, although in standardization efforts of Banner, cost savings is a positive externality.

Transparency Motivates Positive Change

The future strategic plans for Banner Health start with steps and benchmarking. They take their benchmarks and put them on their intranet. This will assist every organization to access their data. It is a way of creating pressure to perform and it is also a motivation for change.

The Plan 2000 – 2020

In 2000, Banner Health created a plan that has coined the stair-step plan, which is the on-going strategy for the organization. The original plan identified the following steps which are paired with some benchmarks, results and milestones. Between 2000 and 2002, it was labelled as turnaround years with the marketing tag fix it, which brought two sizable health systems. The turnaround was financial stability of the operating company which focused on efficiency and standardized quality. Between 2003 and 2006, the organization used the marketing tag do it and the period was labelled as the performance years. The leadership of Banner identified best practices for operational and clinical performance in the healthcare market. During this time, the organization developed Banner Care Management Organization, which oversees development and standards approval while monitoring progress and outcomes (Aramaki, 2014).

Between 2007 and 2015, Aramaki (2014) states’ that the innovation phase uses the marketing tag change it. The innovations have allowed higher care levels to be provided in small community and critical access hospitals that are close to the homes of the patients. The final stage of the plan was between 2016 and 2020, this is the phase that the organization is working on. This phase strategy is achieving the industry leadership. The major focus of Banner understands consumerism and consumers as the driver of their healthcare.

According to Edwards, one of the manager, “I hope that in five to ten years, we are predominantly focused on the health of a population of members with the bulk of our business in the risk-based healthcare arena, so we are really able to focus our investments on the health of those consumers versus creating facilities to handle their sickness,” (Loria, 2016). On the other hand, Aramaki (2014) explains that the organization is planning to evolve from a structure set in managing twenty nine medical centres to one in 2030 that will manage the health of a population. This health structure will provide the population with care where they need it and when they need it.


Aramaki, T. (2014). Evaluating the Strategic Plan of a Healthsystem. Evaluating A Healthcare Strategic Plan. Retrieved from

Banner Health,. (2017). Banner Health. Retrieved from

CCC,. (2013). PROFILES IN HEALTHCARE LEADERSHIP. Compass Clinical Consulting. Retrieved from

Joint Commission Resources, Inc. (2011). Getting the board on board: What your board needs to know about quality and patient safety. Oakbrook Terrace, Ill: Joint Commission Resources

Loria, K. (2016). Banner Health’s Future-Focused Merger. AHL. Retrieved from

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