Many frontline clinicians and managers have enthusiasm and a commitment to patient safety and health care quality. The challenge is a lack of expertise, training and scientific underpinnings in areas such as project design, data analysis and measurement before being able to successfully lead in this area.
The Master of Applied Science in Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality gives students the skills and training needed to transition into a career with formal responsibility for quality improvement.
Patient Safety Workforce Job Titles
The concepts of patient safety and health care quality appeal to, and could benefit, a wide range of busy health care professionals. This career path focuses on a vital aspect of health care administration. A few job titles within the patient safety workforce include:
- Director of Quality Management and Patient Safety Officer
- Medical Director & Patient Safety Officer
- RN Director of Clinical Quality Improvement
- Risk/Quality Improvement Director
- Director or VP of Quality Management
- Director or VP of Quality Outcomes/Assurance/Patient Safety
- Director or VP of Performance Improvement
- Patient Safety Officer or Consultant
Training Future Physicians
There is a lack of training in the skills needed by our future physicians to lead projects in patient safety and quality improvement. After speaking to a group of medical students who were energized about this area of work, here is a reflection from Peter Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D., FCCM, Director of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins, as well as Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Senior Vice President for Patient Safety and Quality:
“I had to confront the sad reality that most of them will graduate ill-prepared to lead the improvements of quality and safety our health care system needs. They no doubt will know chemistry, biology and physiology, but they may not know about human factors, implementation science or performance measurement—the language of quality improvement. They will know orthopedics and genetics but they won't know teamwork and systems engineering. They likely know about German scientist Rudolph Virchow, the father of cell theory, yet they do not know John Kotter, the father of change theory whose model for leading change is highly effective and widely used.”
The Master of Applied Science in Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality will give physicians and other health care providers the skills needed for leadership in this critical area.