All Roads Lead to the Quality Workforce

All Roads Lead to the Quality Workforce

There is no shortage of literature and opinions about healthcare’s challenges. However, there is less discussion about foundational solutions that will contribute to enduring improvement across the continuum of care for the long-term. We hear more and more success stories about good people doing good work and, as a result, we are seeing pockets of excellence emerge. That said, it’s time to take a bold step that will give more organizations the chance at excellence, by hardwiring training on healthcare quality competencies into their workforces.

Three separate and unrelated surveys of chief healthcare executives’ top concerns in the last 12 months reveal the increasing need to systematically improve quality within healthcare organizations. In the Advisory Board’s Annual Survey, CEOs named managing margins, identifying innovative approaches to expense reduction, and meeting rising consumer demands for service. In the American College of Healthcare Executive survey, CEOs cited financial challenges, government mandates, patient safety, and quality. When Kaufman Hall surveyed CFOs, 80% said they’ve begun to monitor patient experience, quality of care, and clinical outcomes in addition to their financial responsibilities, a recognition that quality is tied to improved performance and a path to resolving CEOs' stated concerns.

NAHQ has long been an organization that focused its efforts on developing the quality workforce and serving as a professional organization. Now, because of the urgent and increasing pressures in the market, NAHQ is increasing its efforts to prepare quality professionals to reduce margin pressure and improve patient outcomes, by leveraging competency-based training solutions and inter-disciplinary integration. The goal? The entire healthcare workforce operates from the same industry-standard quality competencies. NAHQ has validated these competencies and is collaborating with healthcare systems, fellow quality organizations, healthcare professions, academics, and many other healthcare leaders to advance improvement initiatives with these common competencies as the foundation.

It’s important that healthcare executives prioritize workforce development in industry-standard quality competencies and understand that quality professionals can help solve the big problems keeping them awake at night. NAHQ’s colleagues at Lifespan, Southwest Healthcare System and its parent company Universal Health Services stand as shining examples of the possibilities. These organizations have demonstrated superior, measurable results as senior leaders in quality partnered with executive management to develop the workforce with a focus on competencies. They are tackling head-on the chief concerns expressed by their peers in the aforementioned surveys. By improving care and outcomes for their patients, they are saving millions and growing their revenue.

Spreading the word about workforce development in industry-standard quality competencies is a drum that NAHQ can’t stop beating because it’s a foundational solution to achieve the shared goals of healthcare value.

The proof is here, the tools and training exist. The time has come to deploy a healthcare workforce who leverage the industry-standard competencies on healthcare quality.

Executives and quality professionals who want to learn more about developing their workforce in quality are invited to join NAHQ’s National Healthcare Quality Summit on May 2-3, 2019 in Chicago, an event fully dedicated to helping healthcare executives lead their organizations to new levels of performance by leveraging the competencies of their entire workforce. CEOs, CMOs, CNOs, and VPs from Lifespan, Southwest Healthcare System, Texoma Medical Center, and Universal Health Services Corporate Office will discuss results and how to achieve them.