Healthcare Quality and Safety

Prospective students should use this checklist to obtain specific admissions requirements on how to apply to Graduate School.

Degree Offered:M.S.
Program Director:Deirdre McCaughey, PhD
Phone: (205) 996-5773
E-Mail:askhqs@uab.edu
Website:www.uab.edu/hqs

Program Information

The Master of Science in Healthcare Quality and Safety will prepare individuals to provide leadership in the design, implementation, and evaluation of clinical and non-clinical process improvement and patient safety activities in complex healthcare environments. The program will comprise a didactic and experiential curriculum including:

  • Quantitative and analytical methods and statistical process control techniques
  • Quality management models such as PDSA, Lean, and Six Sigma
  • Risk and patient safety assessment and management techniques
  • Implementing and managing cultural and organizational change
  • Team leadership and communication
  • Leadership of high reliability organizations
  • Integrative capstone project

The program is housed in the Department of Health Services Administration (HSA) in the School of Health Professions. The HSA Department currently offers graduate degrees in health administration and health informatics, both of which include courses with leadership, quality improvement, and data analytics content, as well as a graduate certificate in Healthcare Quality and Safety (HQS).

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements include eligibility for admission to the UAB Graduate School, and at least two years current or past work experience in a quality- or safety-related job in the healthcare industry.  Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree (or higher) from an accredited college or university, with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the junior and senior level course work.

Additional requirements will include completion of a program-specific application showing quality or safety-related employment and previous relevant training, interview(s) with faculty, personal statement regarding interest in the program, and prior completion of a basic statistics course. Employment experience in a health care organization is preferred, but not mandatory. Applicants with no previous healthcare experience will be required to complete a survey of healthcare course as a prerequisite.

An admissions committee comprised of program administrators and HQS course masters will review applications and make final admission decisions based on desired cohort size.

Entry Term:Fall Semester
Deadline for All Application Materials to be in the Graduate School Office:March 1st, after March 1 applications will be considered on a space available basis
Length of Study:36 Credit Hours -- Full-time students may complete the program in three academic terms; however, one or two courses per term is recommended for employed students.

Required Coursework

RequirementsHours
HQS 600Introduction to Clinical Quality Improvement4
HQS 610Quantitative Methods, Measurement, and Tools for Quality Improvement4
HQS 612Health Data Management and Analytics for Enterprise Performance Improvement4
HQS 615Collaborative Analytics for Quality and Safety Improvement3
HQS 625Fundamentals of Patient Safety4
HQS 630Leadership of High Reliability Healthcare Organizations3
HQS 635Healthcare Policy and Regulation3
HQS 675Evaluating and Designing Quality Improvement Models3
HQS 698Integrative Capstone Experience/Non-Thesis Project3-6
HRP 650Management and Leadership Skills for Clinical Professionals2
Total Hours33-36

Healthcare Quality and Safety Graduate Certificate

Prospective students should use this checklist to obtain specific admissions requirements on how to apply to Graduate School.

Degree Offered:Graduate Certificate
Program Director:Deirdre McCaughey, PhD
Medical Director:Scott Buchalter, MD
Phone:(205) 996-5773
E-Mail:askhqs@uab.edu
Website:www.uab.edu/hqs

Program Information

The Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Quality and Safety is a unique, multidisciplinary approach to the analysis and solution of complex problems. The program prepares clinical and administrative professionals to deploy quality- and safety-focused strategies for their organization. HQS is a high quality, academically rigorous forum for developing the individual knowledge and skills needed to conduct clinical practice and non-clinical process improvement projects in a complex medical environment.

The certificate program, housed in the Department of Health Services Administration in the School of Health Professions, requires a combined approach using data and models from the natural, social, technological, behavioral and life sciences, and other specialized fields. The curriculum is delivered by an interdisciplinary team of faculty from the University of Alabama at Birmingham Schools of Health Professions, Nursing, Public Health and Medicine.

Admission Requirements

  • Undergraduate, graduate or professional degree in a health-related field and at least two years of experience in health care.
  • Personal statement regarding interest in the program and the identification of a quality related project topic.
  • Minimum G.P.A of 3.00 or above for the past 60 hours of course work.
  • Non-refundable application fee of $45, payable online.
  • Official transcripts of all previous academic work beyond the secondary level.
  • Current Resumé or CV which outlines your professional work experience
Entry Term:Fall and Spring Semesters
Deadline for All Application Materials to be in the Graduate School Office:March 1 and October 1, after these deadlines, applications will be considered on a space available basis
Length of Study:15 Credit Hours

Required Coursework

RequirementsHours
HQS 600Introduction to Clinical Quality Improvement4
HQS 610Quantitative Methods, Measurement, and Tools for Quality Improvement4
HQS 625Fundamentals of Patient Safety4
HQS 630Leadership of High Reliability Healthcare Organizations3
Total Hours15

Contact Information

For detailed information, contact the Department of Health Services Administration, Healthcare Quality and Safety Program, UAB School of Health Professions, SHPB 580D, 1705 University Blvd., Birmingham,
Alabama 35294-1212.
Telephone 205-934-3529.
E-mail HQS

Courses

HQS 600. Introduction to Clinical Quality Improvement. 4 Hours.

Clinical quality improvement theory; classes of outcomes; process management; management tools and modeling techniques for improvement of clinical processes and decision-making.

HQS 610. Quantitative Methods, Measurement, and Tools for Quality Improvement. 4 Hours.

Statistical process control techniques applied to clinical and patient service processes, including Lean and Six Sigma methodologies; data system design concepts applied to clinical and financial data for managing health care business processes.

HQS 612. Health Data Management and Analytics for Enterprise Performance Improvement. 4 Hours.

Managing health data across the information lifecycle; assuring data quality and integrity; data visualization and analytics techniques; health information governance.
Prerequisites: HQS 600 [Min Grade: C] and HQS 610 [Min Grade: C]

HQS 615. Collaborative Analytics for Quality and Safety Improvement. 3 Hours.

Survey of analytics used by HCO improvement project teams; emphasis on conceptual understanding of analytics approaches to investigate and resolve organizational quality and safety issues.
Prerequisites: HQS 600 [Min Grade: C] and HQS 610 [Min Grade: C]

HQS 625. Fundamentals of Patient Safety. 4 Hours.

Nature and science of medical error; strategies for design of safety-critical systems; hazard analysis and risk assessment in health care organizations; design elements of safety programs and high reliability systems.

HQS 630. Leadership of High Reliability Healthcare Organizations. 3 Hours.

Applying concepts of high reliability organizations to create an organizational culture that supports strong, functional, and safe patient care environments resulting in quality clinical care and patient satisfaction.

HQS 635. Healthcare Policy and Regulation. 3 Hours.

External drivers for quality and safety improvement in healthcare organizations, particularly policies and regulations affecting reimbursement. Discussion and analysis of key federal legislation and regulations promulgated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and The Joint Commission.
Prerequisites: HQS 600 [Min Grade: C] and HQS 630 [Min Grade: C]

HQS 675. Evaluating and Designing Quality Improvement Models. 3 Hours.

Application of analytical and decision tools to determine appropriate enterprise models for quality improvement, including problem identification, selection of metrics, analytical approaches, prioritization criteria, and post-implementation evaluation.
Prerequisites: HQS 600 [Min Grade: C]

HQS 678. Special Topics in Healthcare Quality and Safety. 1-4 Hour.

Exploration of current issues in Healthcare Quality and Safety.

HQS 698. Integrative Capstone Experience/Non-Thesis Project. 3-6 Hours.

Investigation of a process or safety improvement opportunity in a healthcare organization to propose a solution; application of the concepts and tools presented in the program courses. A written project report is required.

Faculty

Buchalter, Scott, Professor, 1982, MD (Alabama), Organization and integration of quality management and managed care servcies in academic medical centers
Hayes, Leslie, Associate Professor, 2006, MD (Ohio State), Improving health care delivery through lean/six sigma methodology; patient safety; quality improvement
Mehta, Tapan, Assistant Professor, 2013, PhD (UAB)
Paustian, Pamela E., Assistant Professor and Program Director, Health Care Management Program, 2001, PhD (UAB), Leadership Resilience, Managerial, and Operational Practices in Healthcare, Technology Driven Approaches to Education
Quintana, Jose B., Associate Professor, 1989, PhD, Outcomes Management and Process Improvement, Quality
Slovensky, Donna J., Professor; Associate Dean, School of Health Professions, 1976, PhD (UAB), Information management to support quality improvement in healthcare; healthcare technology applications