Earn a Master’s Degree in Health Care Quality
Patient safety is a new health care discipline that emphasizes the prevention, reduction, report and analysis of medical error that often leads to adverse health care events. Recognizing that healthcare errors currently impact one in every 10 patients around the world, the World Health Organization has called patient safety a fundamental principle of health care and an endemic concern.
Unfortunately, improving patient safety and standardizing safety practices are two important, but often under-appreciated, elements of health care administration. Graduate degree programs in this discipline, also called Health Care Quality programs, are designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to administer quality patient safety practices in order to positively impact patient experience, staff satisfaction and the financial welfare of the facility where you are employed.
Job Titles and Responsibilities
A master’s degree in health care quality will qualify you to work as a director of quality management, clinical director of quality services, health care administration manager, health care quality specialist, quality and safety specialist and quality assurance consultant. You can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices and acute care and nursing home facilities. If you are a working professional who wants to pursue an advanced degree, you may be a good fit for this program because of your current skill sets and experience. This can apply to business professionals, healthcare professionals, professional administrators and policy advisors.
Health Care Quality/Patient Safety Specialists focus on promoting the highest level of patient safety possible, and your job will be to ensure that all patients in a medical facility get the kind of care they deserve. Other job responsibilities include reviewing all medical facility procedures on safety issues; developing and implementing patient safety programs and protocols that allow for improved safety; and identifying risks areas and introducing different protocols and procedures that eliminate those risks.
Additionally, you will find yourself testing the safety knowledge of employees and developing training programs that educate them on better health safety practices. As someone who must stay abreast of patient safety issues and initiatives, you will attend lectures, seminars and presentations that increase your understanding of patient safety and share that knowledge with employees.
Health Care Quality Career Outlook
As a health care quality professional, you will handle a plethora of responsibilities, all of which are designed to improve the level of care and safety patients receive. Among the benefits of a career in this field include the fact that it is a new discipline, and the adoption of a culture of patient safety and quality is essential to achieving health care transformation in this country. As a result, health care quality specialists should be in high demand for the foreseeable future.
The George Washington University
Created in partnership with the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), The George Washington University (GW) online Master of Science in Health Sciences (MSHS) in Health Care Quality was developed specifically for patient safety and quality professionals who want to advance their careers and meet the growing demand for patient-centered, quality-based care.
Graduates are prepared to lead the design, development, implementation and evaluation of health care quality and patient safety initiatives in a variety of healthcare environments, including private and public health care organizations. For more information on the featured online programs at GW, click here.
By earning a degree in health care quality, you will develop a broad base of healthcare expertise, from data management and analysis to clinical research and organizational leadership. For more information on the Health Care Quality degrees, click here.