July / August 2012

Quality Conundrums

Anecdotal Advice: A Quality Conundrum?

On June 5, 2012, the Institute of Medicine published a discussion paper entitled, “A CEO Checklist for High-Value Health Care.” According to the authors, “The Checklist’s 10 items reflect the strategies that, in our experiences and those of others, have proven effective and essential to improving quality and reducing costs.” The Checklist includes two Foundational Elements: Governance Priority and Culture of Continuous Improvement; three Infrastructure Elements: IT Best Practices, Evidence Protocols, and Resource Utilization; three Care Delivery Priorities: Integrated Care, Shared Decision Making, and Targeted Services: and Reliability and Feedback (which includes Embedded Safeguards and Internal Transparency).

The paper contains what the authors describe as the issues, opportunities, and expectations for the 10 checklist items. The paper includes specific questions that all organizations should address for each of the checklist items. The writers acknowledge that the checklist is intended as a guide for ongoing high quality health care performance rather than a simple one-time strategy. They share compelling examples of quality improvement efforts in their own organizations, which they structure around the checklist items. These examples are often measured by metrics familiar to all of us: length of stay, cost of care, and readmissions.

If we are in a time of desperately needed health care transformation, is focusing on enhancements that drive traditional measures of success the right approach? If top-down governance is a crucial strategy for a required makeover, what does this say about the work of authors such as Peter Sims and his book, Little Bets?

Since we live in a world driven by requirements for evidence prior to change, how do we justify following the recommendations in the referenced paper, which are largely anecdotal. Are we becoming comfortable again with common sense and the KISS principle? Please don’t misunderstand; I find the IOM discussion paper sensible and compelling. The examples of success are inspiring, and I’m glad that following the example of smart, successful people is acceptable practice. What do you think?

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.

New Transitions of Care Sub-Specialty Certification

Transitions of Care is defined as the movement of patients from one practice setting to another. During these transitions, poor coordination between providers, patients, and caregivers can lead to medical errors, bad outcomes, and even life-threatening situations. In addition, inefficiencies waste resources and discourage health care providers and consumers. These situations occur during transitions because information is not communicated properly—sometimes not at all.

The American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians, Inc. (ABQAURP) and the Case Management Society of America (CMSA) have announced a joint collaboration to create a sub-specialty Certification for Transitions of Care (TOC). The new sub-specialty certification is a part of the specialized credentials available through the Health Care Quality and Management (HCQM) Board Certification. In recognizing the importance of transitions of care, this new credential is the first one to support professionals not only as a team, but also as individuals who demonstrate competence and skills in providing the key elements of transitions of care.

The Transitions of Care sub-specialty is available to new exam candidates and current Diplomates to add to their Quality Designations.

To support the sub-specialty, a new Transitions of Care online course is now available! Earn one hour towards the educational requirement, more information is available at: www.abqaurp.org.

2012 HCQM Board Certification

CMS’ goals include the delivery of seamless, high-quality care for Medicare beneficiaries and to make patients and providers true partners in care decisions. Meeting these goals hinges on measuring quality improvement throughout the care continuum. In support of quality leaders obtaining these goals, ABQAURP’s objective is to provide the “quality” foundation for health care professionals; aligning with our 35-year mission of improving the quality of health care provided to the consuming public.

Recognizing that there are no residencies or fellowships in health care quality and patient safety, ABQAURP established the Core Body of Knowledge and Certification in Health Care Quality and Management (HCQM). The Core Body of Knowledge addresses topics including Transitions of Care, Quality Assurance, Utilization Review, Quality Improvement, Case Management, Risk Management, Patient Safety, and Peer Review. Diplomates who have achieved HCQM certification through ABQAURP have validated their knowledge and expertise in health care management.

The newly updated Core Body of Knowledge online and home study courses are integral steps on the path to becoming a Quality Leader through HCQM Certification. Please call Barbara Chalmers at: (800) 998-6030, extension 116 or visit our website (www.abqaurp.org) for more information on becoming certified.

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 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 Deborah Naser at (800) 998-6030, ext. 118.

Upcoming ABQAURP
Accredited Events

To accredit your educational events for continuing education credit, contact Deborah Naser at 800-998-6030, ext. 118.


The Source: “What’s New” Monthly Articles
April 1, 2011 – November 30, 2012 (online education)

Wound Care Boot Camp
Beginning April 1, 2012 – online education

Georgia Society of Ambulatory Surgical Centers (GSASC) and
South Carolina Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (SCASCA)

GSASC/SCASCA 2012 Joint Semi-Annual
Conference & Tradeshow

August 2-3, 2012
Charleston, SC

American Association of Orthopaedic Medicine (AAOM)
AAOM Workshop: Orthopaedic Medicine – Restorative Injection Therapies for the Back, Pelvis & Lower Extremities
August 3-4, 2012
Denver, CO

Allscripts Client Experience (ACE) 2012
August 14-17, 2012
Chicago, IL

ICORE Healthcare
2012 9th Annual ICORE Healthcare Oncology Summit
September 13-14, 2012
New York, NY

2012 HCQM Board Certification Examination Window
Exam Window Now Open (March 1-October 31, 2012)
Updated Exam and New Transitions of Care Sub-Specialty

36th Annual Health Care Quality and
Patient Safety Conference

April 2013 – Tampa, Florida
Watch for details coming soon!

Student Membership

We understand that the path to excellence starts very early on in the health care arena and that is why we have launched the ABQAURP Student Membership. Those enrolled in graduate or undergraduate courses are the future of health care, and we are committed to your excellence in the field. Get involved with your career future today by committing yourself not only to excellence in your degree pursuit, but to your craft as well.

Become more than just a professional in your field, become a LEADER! Students receive membership benefits at a special rate of $29 per year. For more information, visit: www.abqaurp.org/student-membership.asp.


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