The honor from the American College of Medical Quality comes in a year where population health took on added importance.

JCPH Receives Internationally Recognized Institutional Leadership in Quality Award

In a year when its educational mission took on dire importance, the Jefferson College of Population Health received the American College of Medical Quality’s 2020 Institutional Leadership in Quality Award.

The award—in which the ACMQ honors leading organizations widely known for outstanding contributions in the field of medical quality management or clinical quality improvement—will be formally presented at ACMQ’s virtual annual meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 8.

“Jefferson’s dedication to understanding and helping solve for emerging complex global healthcare demands and providing students and professionals necessary skills to adapt to change and lead, demonstrate its unparalleled commitment to advancing the field of medical quality,” says ACMQ President Dr. Donald E. Casey Jr., of the prestigious honor.

This year—particularly the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic—brought into sharp focus the importance of population health initiatives. Established in 2008, JCPH was the first college of population health unwaveringly focused on improving population health in the United States and around the world.

Dr. David Nash, JCPH’s founding dean emeritus, has since become an internationally recognized leader in healthcare quality and patient safety, regularly speaking on its importance at professional meetings and conferences around the world.

He also serves as the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Medical Quality, which calls JCPH its editorial home, and is senior editor of The Healthcare Quality Book, which is the best-selling book on healthcare quality in the nation.

“Jefferson has been my academic home for 30 years and this is a great honor for our College and our amazing clinical colleagues across all of our hospitals and clinics,” Dr. Nash says.

Dr. Billy Oglesby—interim dean of JCPH—could not be prouder of the recognition, which he sees as both humbling and a spark to continue the work they’ve done.

That has manifested itself in everything from training the next generation of leaders here at Jefferson and across the country, authoring seminal textbooks in the field, disseminating high-quality scholarship as the editorial home for the American Journal of Medical Quality and leading an international effort to create academic accreditation standards for graduate programs in healthcare quality and safety.

Notes Dr. Alexis Skoufalos—associate dean of JCPH—it all boils down to making sure the professional workforce is trained in the right standards of quality and safety to provide better patient care.

In 2017, Dr. Oglesby chaired a national intercollegiate commission to establish certification and accreditation requirements for graduate programs in healthcare quality and patient safety in collaboration. (Thus far, seven universities in the U.S. and Canada have been certified and four are beginning the full accreditation process.)

In 2018, he created a Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Leadership Training Program for physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other care providers and administrators at Jefferson, Magee, Nemours and Rothman. The 10-month program, which has trained more than 60 students, is now being replicated at other integrated healthcare providers in the region under the leadership of Dr. Mary Cooper.

“Using a stacked approach to create knowledge and requiring a mentored project to demonstrate competency, JCPH is perfectly positioned to help others achieve a new model of education in healthcare quality and safety,” says Dr. Cooper, noting that JCPH will establish the first chief reliability officer training officer program this spring.

“Without the training in medical school and residency, physicians are not prepared to tackle the concepts of value-based care, performance metrics and person-centered care,” she continues. “JCPH works with hospitals and hospital associations to provide training through academies, leadership programs and webinars for continuing medical education.”

JCPH has offered a master’s degree in healthcare quality and patient safety since 2010, with graduates going onto C-suites and on leadership teams of healthcare provider organizations across the country. Next year, it will offer the first High Reliability Boot Camp for clinical and operational leaders who will be developing strategies to improve and sustain high-value patient safety and healthcare quality outcomes at their hospitals and care delivery systems.

“Healthcare quality and patient safety have been at the heart of the College’s mission since its founding,” Dr. Oglesby says. “We are truly dedicated to the work and this recognition is a huge pat on the back for all of the faculty, staff, students and partners who helped make it happen. For us, this is national recognition of the work we have done to advance the importance of healthcare quality and patient safety from the preeminent professional association.”