Fall has arrived, the night air is getting crisper, and I am feeling energized coming from a wonderful experience at NAHQ NEXT earlier this month. This was our second fully virtual conference, and I was so pleased with the level of interaction and conversation. As you might expect, there was a good deal of content relating to the effect of the pandemic on healthcare quality. The pandemic has taken a heavy toll on our national healthcare infrastructure, organizations, and especially our workforce. While we are looking forward to the relief that will come with declining cases, the impact of the pandemic will be long lasting.

For the last two years, NAHQ leadership has been engaged in robust conversations about the state of healthcare quality workforce. Will we too experience a shortage in the near future or qualified, competent healthcare quality professionals as is the nursing profession? To ensure we have the healthcare quality workforce we need, NAHQ is advancing workforce development through research, assessment, certification, education and recognition based on our twice-validated Healthcare Quality Competency Framework™. 

Research: NAHQ research including the recently released Why Competency Standardization Matters for Improvement: An Assessment of Healthcare Quality provides insight into how having a competent and qualified quality workforce is required to lead, oversee and implement positive change within healthcare organizations. Our Quality and Safety Benchmarking Program for hospitals and health systems empowers leadership with information to make better decisions. 

Assessment: Members and those with the Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality® (CPHQ) certification can target specific areas of focus for your personal development plans by assessing themselves against the standards of NAHQ’s Healthcare Quality Competency Framework through NAHQ’s Healthcare Quality Professional Assessment. Leaders, you can engage your entire workforce in the Professional Assessment to shape your organizational development priorities by participating in NAHQ’s Workforce Accelerator Program. 

Certification: Did you know CPHQs report working at higher ends of the competency spectrum than their non-CPHQ peers? If earning the CPHQ designation is part of your career advancement plans, now is the time to get started. NAHQ also supports and provides discounts to organizations across the healthcare continuum interest in preparing and certifying their quality professionals. Find out more about our Team Training solutions.  

Education: NAHQ has a variety of education programs designed to advance the knowledge and competencies of healthcare quality professionals and their peers. These programs include HQ ConceptsHQ Principles, and of course CPHQ Prep. And if you didn’t have an opportunity to participate in NAHQ NEXT this year, it is not too late. NAHQ NEXT On-Demand is available to everyone. Catch up with the latest developments in healthcare quality aligning with NAHQ’s Healthcare Quality Competency Framework at your convenience. 

Recognition: Individuals and organizations can celebrate healthcare quality professionals during Healthcare Quality Week, October 17 – 23, 2021. We have activities planned that draw attention to the positive impact healthcare quality professionals make in service to their organizations and patient care.  

And in the spirit of Healthcare Quality Week, I thank you for all that you do and preparing to do during this critical moment in healthcare. You are the true frontline heroes and NAHQ is proud to support you as you adapt to critical patient care during the pandemic.

Marian Savage, PhD RN NEA-BC CPHQ PMP 
NAHQ President  

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