Industry-standard healthcare quality competency framework recognized for innovation, advancement of healthcare industry; builds upon recognition from 2017

CHICAGO (September 23, 2020) – The National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ) is a 2020 recipient of The Power of A Gold Award from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), stemming from its work in cultivating and twice-validating a healthcare quality competency framework that has become the industry standard. The Power of A awards celebrate extraordinary programs and initiatives that enrich lives, advance industries they represent, kickstart innovation and improve world conditions. It is the second time NAHQ has received this designation from ASAE since 2017.

“NAHQ is honored by this recognition, which validates the importance of this industry-elevating contribution to healthcare, particularly amid a critical time in our nation’s history,” said Stephanie Mercado, CAE CPHQ, NAHQ’s CEO and Executive Director. “NAHQ remains committed to advancing industry-standard competencies in quality and safety and ensuring this work is coordinated for optimal healthcare delivery. NAHQ’s Competency Framework is addressing long-standing challenges in healthcare that far predated our current pandemic and helping to reduce today’s massive variability in healthcare delivery by reducing the variability that exists in healthcare quality competencies.”

The framework addresses the eight dimensions of healthcare quality, undergirded by 29 competency statements and 486 stratified skills and behaviors that address the progression of work in quality from the front lines, through the management ranks and into the executive levels of any healthcare organization.

“With the rapid pace of change and given imperatives to drive quality, healthcare quality professionals are continually seeking ways to identify and develop needed new skills and competencies to support the expanding scope of their responsibilities and pressures to improve patient safety and reduce the rapidly escalating cost of healthcare,” Mercado said. “The expectations for the work of quality have changed, but this framework brings needed clarity and definition to the competencies required to raise the value platform for quality. Healthcare quality roles, structures and competencies have often historically been developed on-the-fly at a local level without the benefit of a validated standard … until now.”

NAHQ’s 2017 award centered around its HQ Essentials product, a first-generation resource outlining the practice domains and competencies and was developed to support advanced-level individuals working in quality as they pursued of life-long learning. This new Framework, does the same, but for a much broader audience because it articulates the competency requirements for those working in quality at operational, managerial and executive functions. Furthermore, it allows healthcare leaders to identify the competency needs of its quality workforce – which has never been possible before these standards were developed and twice-validated. According to Mercado, NAHQ’s ability to continually innovate tools and resources for healthcare professionals engaged in the work of quality is rooted in its culture, which leverages the breadth of insights, experience and collaboration among its Board of Directors, volunteers, partner organizations and staff.

“Healthcare embraces standardization and evidence-based best practices throughout clinical care and the same approach promises to deliver big benefits for healthcare quality professionals and quality improvement efforts,” Mercado said. “This framework, which was developed and validated by quality experts and professionals, gives healthcare a common quality language, sets standards and expectations for quality work and provides accountability by offering a way to assess performance.”

About NAHQ
NAHQ is the leader in healthcare quality workforce competencies and creator of the twice-validated, industry-standard Healthcare Quality Competency Framework. NAHQ provides a strategic advantage to healthcare professionals and the organizations they serve by developing and evolving workforce competencies in healthcare quality that result in better patient and financial outcomes to support the goals of healthcare value. NAHQ offers the only accredited certification in healthcare quality, the Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality® (CPHQ), now held by more than 12,000 individuals worldwide; extensive educational programming; networking opportunities and career resources to more than 8,000 members. Learn more about NAHQ at

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