May/June 2013

Quality Conundrums


Health Care Quality—A Quality Conundrum

I just started the current version of what has become an annual event for me: an invited presentation to a group of graduate students of varied backgrounds who are all hoping to begin health care careers. For the last few years, part of the discussion has ranged around a definition of health care careers…beginning with an attempt to define health care. It’s not that easy.

Is health care the act of restoring health to someone who is sick or the art of preventing someone from becoming sick in the first place? If it is about prevention, are politicians who create taxes on unhealthy products such as cigarettes and soda health care providers? How about insulation manufacturers who claim to use safer chemicals? Or city planners whose designs impact whether people walk or drive? If it is about treating illness, in addition to traditional health care providers such as physicians, nurses, and pharmacists, recent trends have been to include complementary providers and resources. Are the creators of healing environments (www.Planetree.org) health care providers?

Does reimbursement by the government or other payers define health care in a practical sense so that their definition overrides all others? Is that definition changed by new ACO models and ACA? Is that right? In a patient-centered environment, as we’ve discussed before, payer-created definitions just don’t seem right.

And that made me think: If we don’t know what health care is, how can we measure and improve its quality? So, until we figure that out, I’m becoming convinced that measuring health care quality is a major quality conundrum.

Incidentally, my list of career choices for the students is getting longer and longer and perhaps that is a good thing. This year my preparation was complicated even further by my realization that I no longer know what a career is.

Please send inquiries and comments to rwillog@abqaurp.org, please include
Quality Column in the subject line.
We look forward to your participation in this new column.


We are now accepting applications for the 2013 HCQM Certification. The Exam window is currently open for this year’s examination. Don’t delay, apply today!

When deciding on a credential, you want the best, most comprehensive certification that covers the entire health care quality continuum. Choose the provider with the experience that has come to define the field of Health Care Quality and Management.

Those certified in HCQM set themselves apart from the crowd and are distinguished by superior skills; balancing appropriateness of services with cost and quality. They are not just better care providers, they are quality leaders!

Please call Barbara Chalmers at:
(800) 998-6030, extension 116 or visit
our website (www.abqaurp.org) for more information.


Surgical site infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, and central line-associated blood stream infections…3 of the 10 areas which the Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) and the Partnership for Patients (PFP) project aim to help hospitals adopt new practices with the potential to reduce inpatient harm by 40 percent and readmissions by 20 percent over the contract.

ABQAURP has been selected by HRET, an affiliate of the American Hospital Association (AHA), to serve as the continuing education provider for a contract awarded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to support the Partnership for Patients (PFP) campaign.

Hospitals participating in the partnership will have access to content and learning opportunities in ten areas of focus identified by the PFP (see below). Within these areas, ABQAURP will accredit the educational courses HRET designs to support the implementation of proven best practices and lessons learned through the use of webinars and educational sessions to hospitals participating in the partnership.

  • Adverse drug events (ADE)
  • Injuries from falls and immobility
  • Obstetrical adverse events
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Surgical site infections
  • Venous thromboembolism (VTE)
  • Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP)
  • Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI)
  • Central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSI)
  • Preventable readmissions

Scheduled HRET events:

June 12, 2013

June 25, 2013

July 10, 2013

July 24, 2013

August 21, 2013

September 18, 2013

Visit www.ascsafetyprogram.org for more information!


Become a Quality Leader and stand out from the crowd!

Commitment to health care quality is an important factor in your field. Distinguish yourself from the crowd! Be part of the success in improving health care and help support the advancement of the health care quality industry. Take the first step and become an ABQAURP Professional Member today!

Membership with ABQAURP demonstrates your deep commitment to patient safety, health care quality, and effective care. Whether you are directly involved with the health care of patients or the administration of the care they receive, joining our organization shows that you are proactive and enthusiastic about your career and the level of excellence in the care you provide.  

We are not simply “another association.” We are a community, comprised of virtually every type of health care professional, striving to improve health care quality, applying what we learn to current and future innovations.

ABQAURP’s Professional Membership was established for those individuals who are devoted to the concepts and objectives outlined in ABQAURP’s Mission “to improve the overall quality of health care that is provided to the consuming public.”  Many choose to utilize membership as a pathway to certification, taking advantage of our educational opportunities while preparing for our Certification in Health Care Quality and Management.

Benefits include discounted registration fees for the Certification Exam, live conferences, and all courses. The education credits earned for these programs may be applied toward eligibility for the certification exam. In addition, you will receive a complimentary subscription to Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare. Professional members are also listed in ABQAURP’s online directory and have unlimited access to the Member’s Only section of the website. Professional members can take advantage of employment opportunities through ABQAURP’s participating health care placement companies and prospective networking at continuing education conferences.

Is Your Medical Education Accredited?

ABQAURP welcomes applications for joint sponsorship of educational activities for continuing education credit. ABQAURP accredits a variety of activities, including:

  • Live Activity
  • Internet Activity Live
  • Enduring Material
  • Internet Activity Enduring Material
  • Journal-Based CME
  • Performance Improvement

ABQAURP is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to sponsor continuing medical education for physicians and is accredited by the Florida Board of Nursing to sponsor nursing contact hours. As an accredited provider, ABQAURP is here to work with each joint sponsor organization to ensure the accreditation process runs as smoothly as possible. Benefits of working with ABQAURP include: one-on-one assistance, on-site assistance, contact for speakers and commercial supporters, evaluation compilation, one-time mailing list to drive attendance, website placement, and advertising in Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare magazine.

For more information, please call Deborah Naser at (800) 998-6030, ext. 118.


Upcoming ABQAURP
Accredited Events


The Source: “What’s New” Monthly Articles

Ongoing – Online Education

Wound Care Boot Camp
Ongoing – Online Education

Practical Approach to Problem Wounds

NeuroResearch Clinics
Advances in Clinical Laboratory Medicine
June 8, 2013 – Los Angeles, CA
June 13, 2013 – Los Angeles, CA



ABQAURP wants to recognize members for their achievements in advancing the field of health care quality management and patient safety. Please send your news to ABQAURP by email to feature@abqaurp.org for consideration.


American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians, Inc.
6640 Congress Street
New Port Richey, FL 34653
Toll- free 800/998-6030  •  Tel. 727/569-0190
Fax 727/569-0195  •  www.abqaurp.org