November / December 2010

Quality Conundrums

While most (90%) of the currently available research and literature on patient safety addresses events in hospital settings, most care takes place in ambulatory settings. The trends toward moving the care of many patients, including vulnerable groups, to outpatient and alternative (non-hospital) settings shows no signs of waning, and may increase further as attempts at medical cost containment continue.

Is patient safety a problem in outpatient settings and communities? The answer is a resounding yes. A recent article by Drs. Tejal K. Gandhi and Thomas H. Lee in the New England Journal of Medicine (http://healthpolicyandreform.nejm.org/?p=12527) highlights some of the differences in the types of errors that occur in various settings.

Experts believe that electronic health record implementation will address some quality and safety issues, perhaps reducing outpatient diagnostic errors by improving the availability of needed test results and decreasing medication errors with the addition of decision support for e-prescribing. How EHRs will change patient behaviors, however, with regard to life style and medication adherence or improve provider communication and education remains unclear. For more information, see this Patient Safety Primer from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (ARHQ) at http://psnet.ahrq.gov/primer.aspx?primerID=16.

How has your organization chosen to consider the patient safety implications of care delivered in an outpatient setting? Have you done anything differently because of a concern about ambulatory patient safety? Do you have stories of success or warnings of failure that you could share?

We’re all in this together. Let’s remember that as we move patients from one setting to another, especially when they go home.

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

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 also 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.

ABQAURP believes that ongoing continuing education in new research, identified problem areas in clinical practice, and areas of interest in the quality assurance, utilization review, risk management, and managed care fields is a worthy endeavor to pursue. Participants improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and quality of health care delivered to the patients to improve the overall clinical outcome. Plus, each activity encourages participants to put into practice knowledge learned and assess the impact. Innovative courses provide important updates and practical tools for all health care professionals. These activities ensure that participating health care professionals receive up-to-date information on the ever-changing health care environment.

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

Certificate Course in Utilization Management Peer Reviewer Training
It is in every clinician’s best interest to become familiar with the principles of utilization review (UR), incorporate those principles into private practice, and become involved in UR activities whenever possible. Patient interests are best served through utilization reviews performed by licensed clinicians in active practice who are dedicated to preserving quality medical care.
This online certificate course will provide a detailed explanation of how healthcare professionals can keep medical decisions in the hands of qualified practitioners by becoming peer reviewers. This approach facilitates organizational improvements and ensures patients are treated as individuals with attention to the specifics of each particular situation.
Visit www.abqaurp.org and choose Education, Online Courses for more information.

Upcoming ABQAURP
Accredited Events


Philips EPIS Users Group 2010
November 17-19, 2010
Baltimore, MD

The Source: What’s New Monthly Articles
October 1, 2010 – September 30, 2012 ?(Online Education)    

Joint Venture of Alvin Stein, MD and Marty Hinz, MD
Management of the Effects of Neurotoxins on Neurotransmission
May 24, 2010 – December 31, 2010
(Online Education Course)


2011 HIMSS Annual Conference and Exhibition & Physician’s IT Symposium
February 20-24, 2011
Orlando, FL


As a Diplomate or AIHQ Member, you are ABQAURP’s strongest and most valuable resource. Your involvement in this year’s membership development campaign plays an essential role in ensuring the vitality of our organization. A strong membership foundation ensures a strong association!
ABQAURP will reward the member who recruits the largest number of new members with a $500 VISA gift card plus a Member Spotlight on the home page of ABQAURP’s website. In addition, Diplomates and AIHQ Members continue to earn a $25 credit for each referred individual who converts to an AIHQ or Corporate Member or sits for the HCQM Certification Exam by December 31, 2010. This credit may then be used toward membership fees, publication purchases, or conference registrations. The top recruiter will be awarded the prize in January 2011. Visit www.abqaurp.org and go to the “Member’s Only” page for eligibility rules and full details.

We are now accepting applications for the 2011 International Health Care Quality and Management (HCQM) Board Examination.
ABQAURP is dedicated to establishing Health Care Quality and Management as a specialty with definable standards upheld by knowledgeable experts. Information on the 2011 Examination Window will be available soon.
Professionals who have achieved certification in Health Care Quality and Management (HCQM) are deeply committed to patient safety, health care quality, and effective care. Those certified in HCQM have demonstrated superior skills in their ability to critically evaluate the literature, identify evidence-based best practices, and make a recommendation that balances appropriateness of services with cost and quality. HCQM certification addresses the need for effectiveness, efficiency, equity, safety, and timeliness.
Visit the website at www.abqaurp.org and choose Certification for more information.


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