At its May meeting, the Board of Directors of the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) approved certification for four programs in Healthcare Quality & Safety. The newly certified programs are offered by George Washington University, Thomas Jefferson University, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and the University of Illinois at Chicago.
The certification of these programs represents an important milestone in an almost three-year process that is continuing. In the Fall of 2016, David Nash, MD, MBA, founding dean of the Jefferson College of Population Health, approached CAHME about the idea of offering certification—and ultimately accreditation—for healthcare quality and safety education. Dr. Nash joined with Christy Lemak, PhD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham to accelerate the process. A survey of programs demonstrated strong interest and by the fall of 2017, ten leading healthcare quality and safety programs across North America had agreed to support the effort.
Under the chairmanship of Billy Oglesby, PhD, MBA, FACHE, Associate Dean of the Jefferson College of Population Health, the Healthcare Quality & Safety (HQS) Committee formed and laid out an aggressive timeline to develop certification and accreditation standards and competencies. Committee and subcommittee representation included both academicians and practitioners. Last November the CAHME Board approved the certification standards and four of the founding 10 programs applied for certification. Leading academics, practitioners in quality and safety, CAHME Board members, and staff from the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ) provided an independent review of the applications.
“Improving the quality and safety of healthcare is imperative for health systems not only in the US, but around the world,” Dr. Oglesby said, noting strong interest when he and Dr. Nash reported on the CAHME initiative during the 2018 convention for the International Society for Quality in Health Care. “One key to success is to ensure programs offer students of healthcare management the academic foundation that will allow them to lead the changes needed to achieve safer and higher quality healthcare.”
“CAHME certification and (eventual) accreditation of HQS instruction broadens our ability to fulfill our mission of improving the quality of healthcare management education, both in North America and globally,” said Anthony Stanowski, DHA, FACHE, president and CEO of CAHME. “We are grateful to the many academic and industry leaders who have worked so hard to achieve this important milestone.”