The National Association for Healthcare Quality, seeking to examine healthcare organizations' quality training and development, published its inaugural survey this week asking quality professionals which employees in their organization receive training and education on quality -- and found the numbers were pretty low.
In fact, only 33 percent of respondents said all staff receive training and education on quality within their healthcare organization.
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The survey also asked respondents the one thing they would do to improve quality at their organization. Nearly half, 47 percent, said their healthcare organizations need to align all healthcare professionals.
Separately, more and more healthcare disciplines and specialties are increasing quality and safety training for their own professionals, the survey found.
NAHQ praised these efforts, but pointed out that discipline or specialty-specific training can unintentionally create vertical silos that don't optimize team-based, patient care delivery.
Trained and certified healthcare quality professionals are the primary building block in breaking down the barriers that disrupt quality, NAHQ said, because they both harmonize the workforces contributing to quality and provide the essential link from front-line care to corporate business objectives.
But to advance healthcare quality fully -- in a way that improves both patient and financial outcomes consistent with the goals of healthcare value -- the group said the entire workforce, regardless of specialty, discipline or role, has to speak the same language of quality, which will only come when everyone is trained on industry-standard quality competencies.
Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that 88.1 percent of the population has a regular place to go for medical care. But the cost and service quality of that care can vary widely from state to state, and Wallethub has sought to quantify that last summer, ranking each state based on cost, access and outcomes.
New England states tend to rank highly on the list. Seven southern states ranked in the bottom 10.