Accreditation in quality and safety of care


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November 11, 2021 – The first accreditation standards for graduate programs in the burgeoning professional discipline of Healthcare Quality and Safety (HQS) are featured in the November / December issue of American Journal of Medical Quality (AJMQ), official journal of the American College of Medical Grade (ACMQ). The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

The new standards “were a critical first step towards setting standards for the accreditation of HQS programs in North America and defined the scope of HQS,” according to the article by members of the HQS Accreditation Standards Committee . Principal author is Willie H. Oglesby, PhD, MBA, MSPH, FACHE, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia.

Content and domain development for HQS program accreditation

Healthcare quality and safety professionals play a key role in guiding quality improvement and patient safety programs. Professionals working in HQS have historically come from a range of disciplines, such as nursing, business, health informatics, health administration, and public health. It is increasingly recognized that graduate programs in these various fields do not focus on areas and skills specific to HQS. The new standards define the content and key processes for the accreditation of the growing number of graduate programs in HQS.

The development process grew out of the initial discussions in 2016 by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME), as well as professors from Thomas Jefferson University and the University of Alabama. in Birmingham. These discussions resulted in an agreement on a set of organizational principles for an approach to accreditation of graduate programs in HQS. Commitment and funding were provided by CAHME and 12 founding member institutions. The National Association for Healthcare Quality provided logistical support and engagement with the HQS community.

A committee structure was formed to develop general accreditation criteria and specific content areas for the “inextricably linked” areas of health care quality and patient safety. A set of competency statements has been developed for 13 HQS content areas, including four ‘core’ areas: Safety and Error Science, Improvement Science and Quality Principles, Evidence-Based Practice, and Improvement of measurement and processes.

The report in AJMQ presents a table summarizing each of the 13 content areas, including descriptions, examples of skills, and examples of knowledge, skills and attitudes relevant to each area. “While all areas should be included in the programs, programs are encouraged to individualize their programs based on mission, student needs and other factors,” write Dr. Oglesby and colleagues.

The proposed standards were adopted by the CAHME in 2019. Documentation processes and criteria have been established; accreditation periods will generally be seven years for established programs and three years for new programs. The programs of nine of the 12 founding member institutions are currently candidates, with the first programs to be accredited in 2022-2023.

Standards are a milestone for HQS as a professional discipline, with benefits including supporting each accredited program’s ongoing commitment to continuous improvement. The authors add: “Accreditation also provides a framework for excellence in education and training that supports culture change for health systems” – a key objective to ensure that quality and safety are valued. .

Accredited academic programs will play a key role in guiding the continued development of HQS as a professional discipline. Dr. Oglesby and colleagues conclude, “The HQS field is changing rapidly and as employment and matures professional engagement, content areas and other elements of program accreditation will change to reflect current professional practice. “

Click here to read “Accreditation of Graduate Programs in Healthcare Quality and Safety”

DOI: 10.1097 / JMQ.00000000000000021

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On American Journal of Medical Grade

Published bimonthly, AJMQ features original peer-reviewed articles by recognized experts in the field and is frequently cited as a source of medical literature. AJMQ aims to keep readers informed of the latest resources, processes and innovative perspectives contributing to the continuous improvement of quality health services. This peer-reviewed journal presents an international forum for the exchange of ideas, strategies and methods to improve the delivery and management of health care.

About American College of Medical Grade

The ACMQ is the organization of healthcare professionals responsible for providing leadership in terms of quality and safety results, who seek the tools, experience, expertise and network of experts necessary to improve the quality and safety of patient care. As an important benefit for members, the ACMQ offers you full access to the AJMQ in print and online through a gateway to resources, programs, professional development opportunities and greater recognition of quality problems by the whole field of health care.

About Wolters Kluwer

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Norma A. Roth