March / April 2010

Quality Conundrums


2010.  The 10th anniversary of To Err Is Human,
the publication that stunned us all with the news that health care
itself is one of the leading causes of death in the United States,
purportedly killing more people than breast cancer and car accidents.

A year when patient safety objectives are clear; when stakeholders have
identified their goals and opportunities, when well-informed research
guides collaborative efforts to set and achieve universally accepted
standards for care delivery; when all national, and even international,
goals for patient safety and clinical quality have been defined and
achieved; or something else entirely?

A banner year of celebration for the patient safety movement, or a time
to recognize that we are stuck in a world of conundrums, intricate and
difficult problems with only conjectural answers?

Two divergent approaches to enhanced patient safety reflecting an
interest in redefining how personal behaviors — on the part of health
care providers and patients — impact the delivery of care and
evaluating whether implementation of technology can enhance performance
in health care as it has in other disciplines. Interactions between
technology and human performance create areas of investigation that
integrate non-traditional health care fields, such as cognitive
psychology and human factors research, with more traditional
quantitative and qualitative techniques. Tension exists between the
call for evidence-based practice and medical decision-making based on
comparative effectiveness research and the widespread recognition that
what we don’t know in these areas may be even greater than what we do
know. Decision-making in the face of uncertainty is daunting,
especially when lives are at stake. Waiting for certainty seems wrong
when lives are at stake.

2010. The
deafening clamor of divergent political interests continues to direct
and define health care in ways many of us would not have considered in
the past. The very definitions of health, care, and health care seem
unstable in the current environment. The role of government evolves and
the impact of that evolution remains unknown.

ABQAURP introduces this column, intended to examine and define Quality
Conundrums in the worlds of patient safety, health care quality, and
medical error reduction. The title is a word play; not only must we ask
the right questions to get the best answers (quality questions), but we
must discuss the questions we all have about measuring quality, and the
interplay between health care quality and safety (questions about

The intent of this column is to
create dialogue, with the thought that our collective wisdom is greater
than any individual contribution. We will use this column as a forum to
search for questions and answers, from established experts and from
ourselves. Readers are encouraged to send thoughts, problems, and
resources; those contributions will form the backbone of future work.
With luck and hard work, perhaps we can facilitate the development of a
health care system that is patient-centered, safe, effective, timely,
efficient, and equitable, as suggested by the IOM in Crossing the Quality Chasm. Or perhaps, we’ll come up with something else entirely…

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 is now on Facebook!
ABQAURP is pleased to announce that we
have recently launched our page on Facebook.
look forward to using this interactive communication tool to link the
organization and our Members/Diplomates. Online social networks provide
the perfect opportunity to express ideas and share information in the
ever-changing health care field in real time.

your colleagues in this virtual networking community to discuss hot
topics, ask questions, and share knowledge. Start a discussion thread

Upcoming ABQAURP
Accredited Events


American Association of Orthopaedic Medicine
27th AAOM Annual Conference
April 28–May 1, 2010
Amelia Island, FL

Health Management Academy
The Health Management Academy
Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), Senior Executive Officer (SrE), and Chief Information Officer (CMIO) Forums
March 15–19, 2010   
Alexandria, VA   



Diplomate News

Congratulations to Dr. Nick Paslidis who was recently elected as Vice Chairman of ABQAURP’s Board of Directors.

ABQAURP Board of Directors welcomes Mary Forkin, RN, BSN, CHCQM,
long-time Diplomate, who has recently been appointed to the Board.

Congratulates Dr. Anil B. Gopinath, Diplomate, on his recent
appointment as Chief Medical Officer of the Provena United Samaritans
Medical Center in Danville, IL. Dr. Gopinath is Board Certified in
Internal Medicine and is pursuing his master’s degree in Medical
Management at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.


HCQM Certification Exam

are now accepting applications for the 2010 International Health Care
Quality and Management (HCQM) Board Examination Window. Testing will be
from September 15 to November 15, 2010.

is the only Health Care Quality and Management (HCQM) organization with
an examination developed, administered, and evaluated through the
National Board of Medical Examiners’ (NBME) testing expertise. ABQAURP
and the NBME collaborate on the planning, development, analysis, and
scoring of the certification examination. The NBME’s involvement in the
certification process reflects ABQAURP’s dedication to establishing
Health Care Quality and Management as a specialty with definable
standards upheld by knowledgeable experts.

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

Please apply early to ensure your testing date and location will be available.
Visit the website at www.abqaurp.org and choose Certification for more information.



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

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.

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.



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