I hope you set aside some time for well-deserved rest and relaxation this summer. I also hope most of you are planning to set aside some “quality” time for this year’s all-virtual NAHQ NEXT annual conference, coming September 13-15.

NAHQ NEXT 2021 will provide healthcare quality professionals and leaders an opportunity to learn, network and strengthen their healthcare quality competencies to improve healthcare quality and outcomes. Designed to help conference participants understand quality in practice – both as it permeates up through an organization and how it improves through constant evaluation – the agenda will take attendees through a quality journey that covers distinct and interconnected domains of NAHQ’s twice-validated Healthcare Quality Competency Framework.

The conference will also acknowledge and honor the events of the past year and focus on where healthcare quality can and must go to deliver even higher levels of value. The COVID-19 pandemic challenged all of us to think differently about the way we deliver healthcare, and it illuminated longstanding issues in healthcare quality, safety, equity and value. Organizations increasingly understand the value of instilling quality and safety competencies, and they are looking to the quality leaders who stepped up during the crisis to provide leadership for the future.

Many issues in quality predated the pandemic and they remain to this day. That said, many of the artificial barriers to progress – like redundant hierarchy, speed to improvement, and more – have been removed. Now is the time for quality professionals and leaders to step up and lead. Events like NAHQ NEXT provide a blueprint to build your confidence and competence.

This year’s conference will showcase seasoned industry leaders and emerging professionals who rose to the occasion over the past year-plus. They will share their experiences and explain the strategies and tactics they used to advance healthcare quality under adverse conditions. As I look at the full agenda of sessions, tools and posters – available now to review online – I am already starting to organize my conference days. I challenge you to register and do the same … and don’t forget to invite your colleagues to join you!

More than 35 hours of Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality® (CPHQ) continuing education hours will be available by attending this year. Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) and ACHE Qualified Education hours are pending approval. Registrants will enjoy on-demand access to all content from September 13–October 23, 2021, ample time for you to watch, or re-watch, sessions at your own pace.

As I talk to my colleagues, I feel a strong sense of resolve, determination and optimism rising, and with it a renewed commitment to patient safety and improved outcomes. The key to sustaining that momentum resides in our ability to reduce variability in healthcare quality competencies. Join me at NAHQ NEXT, and let’s continue this important work of advancing our profession.

Thank you for all you do!

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


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