NAHQ, Georgetown University commit to reducing healthcare quality competency variability

Aug. 31, 2020

As the need for waste reduction and improved patient outcomes increases, the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ) and Georgetown University reported they have collaborated to hardwire content aligned with NAHQ’s industry-standard Healthcare Quality Competency Framework into Georgetown’s Executive Master’s in Clinical Quality, Safety and Leadership.

Until NAHQ developed the Framework, the industry offered neither a single training pathway nor an established competency standard for healthcare quality. The disparate skillsets, tools and vocabulary used to address similar problems became even more obvious at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when quality was thrust into the spotlight. These massive inconsistencies can lead to medical error and waste, negatively impacting patient outcomes and increasing operational costs for healthcare organizations. Aligning university curriculum with validated, real-world industry standards can help close that variability gap, according to Stephanie Mercado, NAHQ CEO and executive director.

“When it comes to healthcare quality competencies, a standardized education and training curriculum is a critical component of ensuring healthcare and quality professionals are ready to deliver on value, especially in a post-COVID-19 environment,” Mercado said. “By working closely with academic institutions such as Georgetown University, NAHQ helps healthcare professionals enter or advance within the workforce more prepared to confront today’s healthcare challenges. Georgetown’s commitment to excellence has been proven by the program’s Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME)’s certification, and NAHQ is honored to partner with an academic leader in this field.”

Both Georgetown University and NAHQ believe the key to reducing variability in healthcare delivery is the reduction of variability in healthcare quality competencies, and both organizations arm individuals with the tools needed to deliver value and better patient outcomes. Furthermore, as part of Georgetown University’s commitment to equipping its graduates to be better contributors in healthcare and stronger candidates in the job market, Georgetown is working with NAHQ to prepare students so they may sit for the only accredited certification in the industry, NAHQ’s Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ).

“The Executive Master’s in Clinical Quality, Safety and Leadership program was developed to be an online, asynchronous, adult learning approach geared to meet the needs of the working professional,” said David Mayer, MD, Medstar Institute for Quality and Safety at MedStar Health’s executive director and Georgetown University’s associate professor in medicine.

According to Stephen R.T. Evans, MD, professor of surgery at Georgetown University Medical Center, and executive vice president, medical affairs and chief medical officer of MedStar Health: “MedStar Health is dedicated to delivering the highest levels of quality and safe care. The Executive Master’s in Clinical Quality, Safety and Leadership marries that priority with our commitment to advancing health. As proud partners of Georgetown University, we are honored to offer a program that reflects these invaluable qualities, invests in leaders of the future and supports our dedication to enhance quality and safety for all patients. We look forward to the continued growth and evolution of this important program.”

Mayer added, “Over the course of the last three years, the program has continued to grow and is now working towards becoming the top Quality and Safety Master’s program, offering higher level education, skills and competencies in critical quality and safety topics and other skills necessary for healthcare leadership. Our certification with CAHME and collaborative partnership with NAHQ continues to drive this program toward excellence.”

NAHQ has the release.