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Graduate Certificate in Health Care Quality

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Improve Patient Safety Through Healthcare Quality

Created in partnership with the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), the 18 credit-hour graduate certificate program is built on an interdisciplinary, practice-based curriculum, developed to prepare students for leadership roles in quality-based healthcare.

Students will gain the expert knowledge and skills necessary to redefine quality care, including:

  • Quality data management and analysis
  • Fundamental concepts in healthcare quality
  • Leadership and organizational change theories and principles
  • Major drivers of healthcare quality and patient safety
  • Quality and risk assessment
  • Safety improvement challenges

Who Should Apply to the Health Care Quality Graduate Certificate Program?

The certificate program is ideal for working professionals who are either just entering the field of healthcare or who wish to increase their knowledge and skills to advance to a leadership position.

Why Students Choose Health Care Quality at GW?

  • Transferable to the Master’s Program: Opportunity to transfer all 18 credits and advance to the Master’s program.
  • Extensive Networking Opportunities: Gain access to the vast resources for healthcare and quality from the heart of Washington, D.C.
  • Practitioner Faculty: Faculty of industry practitioners and executive officials from across the healthcare field.
  • Curriculum Developed by Industry Practitioners: Created in partnership with the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), the curriculum prepares professionals with the evidence-based training necessary to meet the rising global need for quality and patient safety specialists.
  • Learning Environment of Excellence: Ideal for working professionals with a need for flexible course study.

Click here to see what GW’s students are saying about the online MSHS in Health Care Quality.

What Will I Learn?

Designed to support excellence in quality improvement and patient safety leadership, GW’s online Graduate Certificate in Health Care Quality equips graduates with a survey of practical knowledge and skills necessary to effect health care quality and patient safety within the healthcare setting. Graduates of this program will have the experience and confidence to:

  • Analyze the structure and organization of the U.S. healthcare system
  • Implement quality and patient safety initiatives
  • Understand political and environmental influences on healthcare
  • Apply patient safety theories, models and methods to healthcare quality and safety improvement

Become a Healthcare Quality Change Agent

Students of this online graduate certificate program will be prepared to meet the global need for evidence-based healthcare professionals. Graduates will be able to establish systems that foster excellence in quality improvement and patient safety leadership, a requirement in patient-centered, healthcare organizations.

Typical positions held by Healthcare Quality professionals include:

  • Associate Healthcare Director of Provider Quality
  • Healthcare Associate
  • Healthcare Quality Analyst
  • Quality & Safety Specialist
  • Quality Assurance Consultant
  • Quality Manager
  • RN Quality Improvement Specialist

Click here to learn more about a career in Health Care Quality.

Source: National Association for Health Care Quality

Graduate Certificate in Health Care Quality Curriculum (18 Credit Hours)

HCQ 6200 – Introduction to Health Care Quality

Introduces the fundamental concepts to be covered in HCQ 6201 through HCQ 6205 and discusses how they are integrated within the context of health care quality.

Learning Objectives:

  • Interpret systems and change theories as they relate to quality and safety challenges in health care
  • Review the evolution of quality improvement and patient safety initiatives conducted at varied environmental and structural levels within the US health care system
  • Describe foundational theories, principles and processes of quality improvement and patient safety as they relate to health care
  • Discuss structural, process and outcome measures of health care quality and patient safety
  • Cite epidemiology and sources of error within a health care system
  • Analyze the structure and organization of the US Health Care system
  • Review the structure and roles of the legislative, executive (regulatory) and judiciary branches of the US government and outcomes relevant to health policy development
  • Analyze the implications of federal, state and local budget considerations in health policy formulation and implementation

HCQ 6201 – The Health Care Quality Landscape

Involves application of leadership and organizational change theories and principles to the implementation of quality and patient safety initiatives. Strategies are put forth that would address development of the culture and infrastructure needed to support patient safety and continuous quality improvement.

Learning Objectives:

  • Analyze systems and change theories as they relate to quality and safety challenges in health care
  • Apply strategies to foster a culture of quality and safety at all levels of a health care organization
  • Apply negotiation, conflict resolution and team-building strategies to enhance interdisciplinary collaboration and safe practices within health care teams
  • Assess, develop and manage organizational and team performance
  • Develop a business case for quality in a health care organization
  • Analyze the legal and ethical issues associated with quality improvement and patient safety in health care
  • Design an organization-level quality improvement program

HCQ 6202 – Building a Quality Culture

Covers the analysis of quality and patient safety challenges in U.S. health care with a focus on political and environmental influences.

Learning Objectives:

  • Analyze the evolution of quality improvement and patient safety initiatives conducted at varied environmental and structural levels within the US health care system
  • Critically examine the evidence base underlying the need for quality and patient safety improvement in US health care
  • Analyze the roles, influences and interactions among stakeholders in US health care as they relate to health care quality and patient safety
  • Analyze the influence of quality measures, standards and regulations on health care quality and patient safety in the US today
  • Analyze the overarching legal and ethical issues involved in health care quality improvement
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of health care quality and patient safety activities in terms of the IOM National Quality Framework and the JCAHO National Patient Safety Goals

HCQ 6203 – Quality Improvement Science in Health Care

Provides an introduction to quality improvement and patient safety theories, models, methods and tools and their application to quality and safety improvement challenges in health care.

Learning Objectives:

  • Analyze foundational theories, principles and processes of quality improvement and patient safety as they relate to health care
  • Apply quality improvement models and methodologies to address various challenges in health care with emphasis on improving quality and patient safety
  • Select appropriate tools for each phase of a quality improvement or problem solving process
  • Develop an original proposal for improving a quality or patient safety-related process

HCQ 6204 – Health Care Quality Measurement, Data Management and Analysis

Involves application of measurement, data management and statistical analysis principles to quality improvement and patient safety challenges. This course focuses on the importance and design of effective measures and the selection of appropriate analysis tools.

Learning Objectives:

  • Compare and contrast structural, process and outcome measures of health care quality and patient safety
  • Design, develop and evaluate quality and safety measures
  • Analyze and plan strategies to overcome challenges and threats associated with quality and safety measurement
  • Select and apply appropriate strategies for quality and safety data collection and management
  • Select and apply appropriate statistical analyses for a given quality or safety question/problem
  • Create quality improvement and patient safety benchmarks

HCQ 6205 – Patient Safety Systems

Involves an examination of the epidemiology and sources of error in health care, risk assessment and the design of processes and systems to improve patient safety. Focuses on the application of process and technology-based systems to reduce the incidence of error.

Learning Objectives:

  • Analyze the epidemiology and sources of error within a health care system
  • Apply risk assessment and human factors methodologies to patient safety challenges
  • Evaluate the benefits and challenges associated with patient safety systems
  • Evaluate and select technologies to improve patient safety
  • Analyze a health care process to identify areas of risk and opportunities for improvement
  • Develop strategies to error-proof a health care process

Become a Change Agent for Quality Care

Contact an admissions advisor today at (844) 386-7323 or click here to request more information.