The day I returned to my organization following the annual conference NAHQ next, I took several actions in new ways based on the information I learned! The annual conference of NAHQ has always inspired me, and this year was no exception.

The theme of “Rebranding Quality” focused attendees on the pursuit of making an even stronger impact in our ever-changing healthcare organizations and industry. The need to move beyond a minimum requirement compliance mindset for quality has never been more important. And the time is NOW to make that happen. I know that this educational experience is helping me to do just that.

A few thoughts stood as reminders for me throughout the sessions.

First, structure. Healthcare organizations are changing in operational and leadership structure. No longer can we assume that most hospitals or clinical settings function in the same model as other health systems. These structures greatly affect the way quality and safety are assessed, measured and managed, and the diversity of these structures is significant. Listening to discussions about varying organizational structures provides insights into new ways to drive change.

Second, process. The approaches to measuring and managing quality and safety are taking new and innovative forms. New models for improvement were described, including how new roles for quality can make a positive difference. Technology is making a significant impact on data collection and analysis, also which influences processes. New roles, tools and models are changing the ways we drive quality and safety.

Third, clinical and financial outcomes. I was inspired by the opportunities to achieve positive impact and outcomes through the work of quality and safety. Focused and strategic quality and safety actions make a huge difference in the lives and well-being of the people we serve. Evidence-based clinical protocols achieve positive outcomes when consistently used. Good quality is also cost-effective and saves healthcare dollars, as reflected in many presentations.  

NAHQ next reflected the incredible potential impact that quality leaders can and do make every day. The knowledge and skills in managing strategic change, brought by quality leaders, are powerful tools that can be unleashed toward positive clinical, operational and financial impact. A clear vision, strong relationships, and a passionate pursuit of quality and safety can make an incredible impact in today’s new settings. I am confident we are ready to capture this opportunity!  

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

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