Please join me in celebrating Healthcare Quality Week, the third week of October since 1985. This week is a time to recognize the important impact being made by those working to improve healthcare quality and safety – as individuals, as organizations, and importantly, as an even larger force of all who work in healthcare.

The 2023 theme “A Force for Quality” guides this year’s recognition, reminding us that when we work together, we can be a powerful force to positively change healthcare environments, save lives, and realize tremendous organizational potential. The recognition of this work celebrates not only those working passionately and tirelessly to improve care and safety but engages others in this important pursuit. Healthcare environments that embrace and enhance the quality and safety agenda can become a powerful force, affecting positive patient outcomes and untapped financial opportunity. Good quality care has consistently demonstrated it is less expensive, going far beyond just being the right thing to do. Delivering excellent care with an excellent team working together describes a place that a great healthcare workforce would choose to remain. Being a “Force for Quality” can make all the difference! 

Despite the recognition of the many strides made in healthcare quality, medical error remains the third-leading cause of death in the US, with estimates of 250,000 people dying annually of its tragic effects. There remains so much more that needs to be done to ensure safe and effective healthcare delivery. I encourage you to join in the complimentary presentations offered by NAHQ across this Healthcare Quality Week, highlighting key issues in advancing quality and safety. I hope you had the chance to watch the exclusive screening of the award-winning HBO MAX documentary, BLEED OUT, written and produced by Steve Burrows and listen in on the inspiring follow-up panel discussion. This thought-provoking film shares the harrowing experience of Judy Burrows, Steve’s mother, and her nine years receiving healthcare in settings across the healthcare environment. Viewing the film is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to look through the lens of those we serve at the many ways we need to improve.

I am proud of the work and workforce dedicated to healthcare quality and safety, and this month is an opportunity to recognize those efforts across organizations. Congratulations to each of you for your commitment to this work and your involvement in NAHQ. As we celebrate, it is essential to continue to engage others and to continue to ramp up efforts to become a force for quality and make an impact in enhancing the quality and safety of care. As BLEED OUT displays, improving quality and safety changes lives. And, what an essential thing to recognize! 

Nidia Williams, PhD, MBB, CPHQ, FNAHQ
NAHQ President

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