Tuesday, March 10, 2015

BE SAFE: Patient Safety As Never Seen Before

What I would like to share with you my dear qualiticians this time is a very nice and innovative video about patient safety. (BE SAFE) is a song written and composed by Dr.Geoff Randolf the chief medical officer (CMO) of Lutheran Hospital and produced by the hospital to entrench the culture of patient safety as the hospital top priority. It highlights in a very simple, innovative and attractive way many of  patient safety concepts, tools and practices like effective communication, surgical site marking, surgical timeout, verbal and telephone orders, patient falls, double check and medication errors.
What about starting to watch this attractive and impressive video instead of talking about it? Let's sing with , learn from and enjoy this amazing work. Many thanks to Dr.Jeoff and all his wonderful team. BE SAFE ... BE SAFE ... BE SAFE ... it's four letter word starts with "S"

Monday, March 9, 2015

Social Media for Personal Branding: Three Questions To Be Answered

A Globe of Social Media 

As I am a physician who decided to be a qualitician believing that treating healthcare systems is as important as treating individual patients, I am trying to build my personal brand as an expert, a consultant, a researcher and a lecturer in the field of healthcare quality management and to be more specific in the domains of quality improvement, patient safety and healthcare accreditation. This is very clear even for the title of my blog (The qualitician) Although the journey seems to be highly demanding but in the same time it is highly rewarding. The start is to answer three main questions which are what to use?Whom to address? and finally How to build an effective blog?
What to use?
I decided to use Twitter, LinkedIn and Google plus to build my personal brand as these social media enable me to have a strong professional network, to express freely my thoughts and ideas and to market my personal brand to the main audience I want to target. Also using those social media simultaneously will augment the impact and maximize the benefits as they address different groups and have different features like short updates in twitter, writing free texts in Google blogs or displaying fully detailed CV in LinkedIn.
Whom to address?
My main target is healthcare leaders which includes various groups like hospital managers, accreditation consultants, quality professionals, researchers and professors. I try to have good contacts with key organizations in healthcare quality like hospitals, research centers. universities, accreditation bodies and consultancy agencies.
How to build the blog?
My blog is using very simple design with warm colors like orange as a background and clear font with a black color to increase clarity. There is one column for posts to avoid any distraction of the readers. Minimal decorations are used so that readers can focus more on the contents published. All posts  will be published with relevant photos or videos to be more attractive or understandable. Regularly a video of high quality related to quality improvement, patient safety, health literacy and healthcare accreditation standards will be published in the blog. Relevant quotes related to quality, leadership, motivation, teamwork and other management concepts or affairs will be posted regularly.

I hope that by deciding what to use, determining whom to address and building an effective blog I will able to establish my personal brand by the end of 2015 as a qualitician and to have a strong professional and social networking.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2015 Gift ... 20 Websites Necessary for Any Qualitician

Dear Qualiticians,when I tried to think about the best gift I can bring to all of you my dear colleagues in 2015, I found nothing will be more pernicious for you than knowledge and nothing will be more pleasant for me than sharing it with you. I tried to share some of the highly credible and informative websites I use almost everyday when I need to update my information, to enrich my knowledge or to find good materials and resources in our field. I highly recommend those 20 website to be among the favorite websites visited frequently by any qualitician.

1- Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI): 
A highly valuable website rich in its resources covering a lot of topics with main focus on healthcare improvement and its unique approach known as " Science of Improvement". Any healthcare professional not only qualiticians should make his membership and start benefiting from its online learning through IHI open school courses, white papers, IHI bundles against hospital acquired infections (HAIs) and a wide variety of other resources which can provide great help to all of us. IHI classification and trigger tool for adverse events are widely adopted and used by many healthcare organizations and professionals. IHI chapters all over the world are another unique activity supported by IHI allowing members to start activities or organize events in their healthcare organizations under the name and with the support of IHI.  

2- Medscape: 
One of the best educational websites for any health professional with a wide variety of educational activities including videos, article, power point presentations and CME activities in almost all areas of healthcare and all clinical specialties. For qualiticians, they can find highly relevant topics related to patient safety, quality improvement, public health, bio-statistics, medical coding, healthcare technology and health informatics and they can accumulate the free CME hours in their educational track record to be used for their re-certifications like in CPHQ and CPHRM.

3- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ):
An important website addresses the needs of different stakeholders whether patients, professionals or policy makers. AHRQ inpatient, pediatric, patient safety and prevention AHRQ quality indicators are examples of AHRQ quality measures and tools available in this website. AHRQ surveys on patient safety culture is an effective, free and easy-to use tools to assess the patient safety culture in any healthcare organization.In addition to these, a lot of clinical guidelines and recommendations, healthcare literacy universal precautions toolkit, AHRQ fact sheets, data sources and AHRQ sponsored continuing education activities are made available to users.    

4- JOHN HOPKINS Bloomberg School of Public Health:       

One of the most prestigious and academically rigor and advanced public health schools and research centers. It provides many opportunities for continuous education by taking academic degrees, certificates or non-degree courses for all healthcare professionals from all over the world. There is no doubt about the high quality of its educational activities even those provided for distant learners as online course. Its OpenCourseWare  (JHSPHOCW) platform is a great chance for any professional looking for academically sound and free knowledge.

5- Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP): 
This British website provides a lot of resources and educational activities with a primary focus on clinical and non clinical audits. Any healthcare professional involved or interested in this area will find great assistance in the form of guidelines, tips, forms, checklists, templates, case studies and lectures about this important subject which is one of the pillars in any healthcare quality management system. 

6- Coursera:
One of the best websites providing online courses in my opinion enabling everyone to have  highly interactive and interesting educational experience as the courses provided are related to a wide variety of fields like management, healthcare, information technology, social sciences, and basic sciences. Everyday new courses fulfilling the needs of everyone are opened. The courses are provided by the best universities and academic institutions all over the world and characterized by its premium quality and valuable resources in the form of videos, power point presentations and additional readings. Membership is free and all courses are free whether for only knowledge or to have a certificate of achievement if the required activities are done and the minimum score is taken. Minimal fees may be paid for those who prefer the signature track to obtain an attested certificate. There are many wonderful courses related to safety and quality in healthcare in addition to amazing courses about statistics and data processing starting addressing different levels from beginners to highly experts. My personal advice is to start your membership today and download all the materials relevant to you even if you are busy or have no time so you can return back to it after finishing the course or whenever you have time.    

7- The Joint Commission:
It is the most famous and well recognized healthcare accreditation organization worldwide. It is almost necessary for any qualitician to be familiar with its accreditation standards and survey process. The website is rich in its indispensable resources essential for any qualitician including variable educational activities, R3 and annual reports, sentinel event alert and statistics, fact sheets, highly informative articles and JCI library of quality measures. In addition to this, there are more and more in the Joint Commission Resources (JCR) web store and while some of these products (software, publications, books, tool kits ... etc) are available with very reasonable prices, a lot of these valuable resources are available free. Speak up materials (posters and videos) are excellent tools to encourage patient and family active involvement in the care provision.

8- Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP)
It is the most comprehensive, informative and credible website for everything related to medication safety. It contains a wide variety of resources in different forms of articles, reports, tips, tools, reported errors, drug recalls, educational activities and publications focusing only on safe use of medications addressing the needs of different stakeholders like pharmacists, physicians, nurses and even patients and families. The updated lists of high alert medications and  look-alike sound-alike medications is available and can be downloaded for free.

9- National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF):
This website with its primary focus on patient safety provides a lot of resources for this rapidly growing field. Its patient safety dictionary is highly comprehensive and user friendly. There are some educational activities for professionals and many tools which can be easily and effectively adopted and used even by patients and families. Those who are highly interested in this particular area can prepare themselves to be Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS) as they can find full information and resources about the certification and the re-certification.  

10- American Medical Association (AMA):
One of the important websites rich in its comprehensive resources covering different aspects of healthcare management. It provides excellent materials for patient education. Different formats of continuous medical education (CME) are provided. Its journal (JAMA) is one of the most important publications with a lot of valuable articles. A lot of valuable resources are available for free covering important subjects like medical ethics, clinical performance improvement, administrative simplification initiatives, quality improvement and patient safety.  

11- The Health Foundation Inspiring Improvement:
One of the important British websites emphasizing healthcare quality improvement providing a lot of valuable resources in healthcare improvement. its patient safety resources are highly organized and easily located  by profession categories, areas of interest and collaborative areas. Full access to all its publications is free of charge and these publications should be in the highly recommended reading for any qualitician as they are very recent, highly informative and widely addressing all aspects of healthcare management especially (quality improvement made simple). In addition to the publications, there are many reports, statistics and data sheets.

12- Foundation for Healthcare Quality (FHCQ):
The website of this US nonprofit independent organization is rich in data, statistics and reports about a lot of indicators measuring the quality of care in different care aspects. The organization is supporting highly focused quality improvement programs for clinical outcomes (COAP), surgical care outcomes (SCOAP), Obstetrics clinicial outcomes ( OBCOAP), patient safety and other puplic data and trends. The website is a perfect reference for indicators assessing clinical outcomes and the available data can be used for bench marking to improve the clinical care prodesses.

13- Accreditation Canada & Accreditation Canada International:

It is one of the most important healthcare accreditation systems but its international spread outside Canada is less if compared to JCI accreditation. The domestic website is highly informative and rich in its valuable resources not confined only to the accreditation and its standards but cover a lot of issues related to healthcare quality. Its publications is highly diversified to address different aspects of healthcare quality including knowledge sharing materials, Canadian health accreditation reports, collaborative work with other partners and the periodic publication (Qmentum Quarterly: Quality in Healthcare) in which each quarter a set of articles discussing a particular subject from different perspectives written by distinguished experts are published. In addition to this, there is the resource hub containing many valuable materials and there is the leading practices database including a lot of the best practices applied in Canadian healthcare organizations to improve patient safety and quality of care. Fortunately, full access to almost all these highly informative and credible materials is available for free.
The other platform and due to its international perspective is more limited in its resources focusing mainly on the accreditation process, its requirements, the survey and the 
available advisory services. It targets healthcare organizations which are accredited or willing to go for accreditation. 


14- Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI):
The website is rich in different kind of resources and materials which are available for free. Impact stories, myth-busters, what if series, periodic reports, resources and tools are all examples of these valuable materials. There are also some educational activities and online courses provided.

15- Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare (ACSQHC):
One of the most comprehensive and informative websites available to any qualitician as it includes a lot of valuable resources and materials covering all aspects related to patient safety and quality of care in Australia. There are a lot of reports displaying the different helathcare quality indicators used in Australia such as medications safety, healthcare acquired infections, clinical care standards and outcomes, utilization management measures and patient falls. There are also important resources about the national safety and quality health services standards and accreditation and the national priorities or quality programs in Australia. One of the popular and valuable publications is the Australian antimicrobial stewardship program and the annual report of antimicrobial prescribing practices in Australia as they are very good references and resources for infection control practitioners also.

16- World Health Organization (WHO):
It is necessary for all concerned with healthcare whether professional, managers or even public to have regular access to this important website as it provides highly important information and very recent updates about all  healthcare topics
including challenges, problems, threats and dilemmas all over the world. In addition to this a lot of valuable publications studying in details a lot of healthcare issue can be found. The website is also a highly credible and reliable sources of healthcare related statistics and data 
about healthcare systems(infrastructure, processes & outcomes) not only at the world level but also at the regional or even the country levels. The website provides a lot of valuable resources such as WHO fact sheets, periodic reports, statistics and guidelines. 

17- Quality Gurus:
A very good website including wide variety of quality management resources in general not only in healthcare. Valuable information about quality history, gurus and a lot of important books and publications about lean, six sigma, quality tools and ISO certifications in addition to some educational videos are also available for free. A lot of online courses related to six sigma, lean, statistics and ISO are also available and many of these courses are free. 

18- National Network of Libraries of Medicine (nnlm.gov):
One of the most comprehensive websites providing wide variety of resources related to healthcare literacy and medical education. As the attention given to health literacy increases exponentially  due to its significant impact on patient and family empowerment which is essential to provide patient and family centered care, a lot of relevant resources of high quality and different perspectives are available for free. Many important and useful websites like Pubmed, Toxnet, Medical Library Association (MLA) Clearinghouse and Medline-Plus can be easily accessed by professionals and  also the public through this network. 

19- National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ) & Journal for Helathcare Quality (JHQ):

It is the association supporting the most recognized professional certification in healthcare
quality which is the CPHQ exams. The website provides all the information about certification and re-certification in addition to some resources and educational activities. Its well recognized and valuable publications (Q solutions books) are the main reference in studying for that exam and irrespective to the exam, it should be among the essential readings for any qualitician. The free membership gives limited benefits in contrary to the paid membership. There are also a lot of events organized by NAHQ every year but most of them are held in North America (USA & Canada) 

It is the journal of National Association of Healthcare Quality (NAHQ) and it provides educational activities with CE hours in the form of quizzes following particular articles which can be used as a simple way for CPHQ re-certification. NAHQ members have full access to the journal articles while non-members are still able to read the abstract of all articles.  

20- International Society of Quality (ISQua) & International Journal for Quality in Healthcare:  
The ISQua is considered as one of the most important global organizations working for inspiring and enhancing quality improvements in all fields. Its webiste is full of valuable resources and materials whether lectures, videos, publications, webinars, references, updates and forums based on geographical regions or group interests. The membership is somehow expensive but its associated benefits are worthy. The website is used to announce and displays all the events and activities organized by ISQua whether online or real-life. The ISQua fellowship program is one of the most prestigious and well recognized designations in the quality world. It needs to collect a particular number of credit points (60) from different continuous educational activities within 18 months and to collect less number of credit points (40) every year to maintain the designation. Another fellowship is available now in healthcare which is the Fellowship in Healthcare Quality and Safety (FHQS) as a joint fellowship program amalgamating its content from ISQua with other partners: Taiwan Joint Commission on Hospital Accreditation (TJCHA) and Asian Society for Quality in Healthcare (ASQua).

The journal is published by the International Society of Quality (ISQUA)  Although the access of some articles is restricted to members only but non-members are still able to read the abstract of such articles and also have access to read and download many articles for free. The search can be easily done whether by date or by subject. It is highly valuable especially for those doing research or writing their master or PHD thesis. 

I am sure that knowledge especially in a rapidly growing and a widely comprehensive field like healthcare quality management is endless and there are of course a lot of other valuable websites not mentioned here whether because of my humble knowledge and the limited space. I tried my best to share my humble knowledge with all my dear colleagues and to give them a brief idea about these websites but I am sure that they will be able to extract more and to enrich my knowledge by their feedback. As we learnt from Prophet Mohammed (Peace Upon Him) that the best of us is the one who is learning to gain knowledge and then share it with others, I hope that my dear colleagues will accept my simple knowledge. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Qualitician: A Carefully Crafted Title

 As mentioned in the blog description, I am Mahmoud, an Egyptian physician who decided to be a qualitician believing that treating ill healthcare systems is as important as treating sick individual patients.
My journey with quality started in 2008 by my decision to take a higher diploma in TQM from the AUC after working as a practicing physician for 5 years and this was really a turn point in my life. I started to understand why all of us suffer with our healthcare systems, why all stakeholders are unsatisfied with the outcome and how we can change this. For all these question, the answer was clear and straightforward " The System". We spent too much time, effort and resources focusing on individual cases, individual care givers, individual healthcare settings without seeing the underlying systems which at the end have the final say because "Every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets," as said by Deming one of the most influential quality gurus. 
I became fascinated by the quality realm and its amazing world full of everything I love opportunities, challenges, achievements, innovation and teamwork. I realized that I found the field where I can pursue my values and use all my competences, skills and capabilities to create a difference.
The journey started but has never ended as quality is an endless race and there is always a big room for improvement. I became a CPHQ after passing its exam in 2010 then I started in 2012 my MBA from Leicester University in UK with specialization in Quality Management and a dissertation about Lean Six Sigma in Healthcare expected to finish it by next year 2015. Working in Egypt with different organizations then moving to Saudi Arabia to join a highly reputable healthcare organization enriched my experience and made me more ambitious to go far in my career as a qualitician.
I asked myself all the time why other professions have clear titles easily understood by everyone like pharmacist, accountant, dentist, teacher, writer, journalist ...etc and even among physicians we have internists, neurologists, pathologists, epidemiologists, pediatricians and orthopedists .....etc while quality professionals remain with no unique or specific title originating from their field still seen by many people as ill-defined territory. I still face the same comment or question raised by many colleagues, friends or relatives or at least appear in their eyes when I speak with them about my field. What do you do exactly? what you mean by quality specialist or professional?Is it a genuine scientific field? Now with more knowledge and experience and the most important with more passion for this charming field, it is very clear for me : I want to be a qualitician, I love this and I believe in it.
The Qualitician is a highly crafted title trying to mimic three words mainly politician, statistician and musician. I believe that any qualitician should be excellent as a politician not only to mange change, overcome resistance and resolve conflicts to achieve the objective but also to inspire people to make them motivated and committed to quality. Statistics and how to collect, validate, analyze and interpret data remains one of the most important skills mastered by any qualitician. I believe also that quality is an art like music and the qualitician needs a real passion to perform as the maestro orchestrating the team efforts to work in harmony.
The Qualitician aims to build a strong networking in the field of healthcare quality attracting all existing or potential qualiticians to create their own realm and to craft their own profession. The Qualitician will highlight tips, give hints and discuss issues important for any qualitician. If you are or interested to be a qualitician, if you are concerned with healthcare quality and want to find a place to get support, to gain knowledge,  to raise concerns, to discuss dilemmas or to share your insights and experiences with other qualiticians, here is your right place as you are always welcome.