I am very pleased to share news that at its November meeting, the CAHME Board of Directors approved certification standards for graduate programs in healthcare quality and safety. This partnership with nine leading universities offering masters degrees in quality and safety established important standards and competencies for ensuring quality education for healthcare safety and quality leadership. It is the first step toward the eventual creation of more robust accreditation standards.
The need is clear. Healthcare quality and safety (HQS) has experienced dramatic growth, both in terms of being a focus of health systems and in the number of graduate programs, over the last decade. Ten years ago, there were just two graduate programs focusing on HQS. Today there are 13 in the United States and Canada. Program directors began discussing the establishment of certification and accreditation in 2017, and have involved practitioners and associations in this process.
This is a natural extension of CAHME’s expertise and experience, and we are thrilled to be part of the effort. As individual graduate programs have developed their own HQS programs, there has been a lack of consistency and agreement on what should be included in curricula, student experiences, or the competencies that should be mastered. I commend the programs for voluntarily coming together to work through these issues that will, ultimately, help to drive improvement in graduate HQS education.
On the CAHME web site you can view a brief video featuring David Nash, MD, founding dean of the Jefferson College of Population Health, and Stephanie Mercado, president of the National Association of Healthcare Quality, discussing how CAHME’s process for accreditation will come into play in the development of standards for graduate programs in HQS. The video was filmed at the General Session of the NAHQ Annual Meeting in November.
We will have updates on this exciting initiative in the months ahead.
Anthony Stanowski, DHA, FACHE
President & CEO