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QA Monograph Being Taught in Graduate Schools Around the World

by Cynthia F. Young, Senior Staff Writer

Several graduate schools in the United States, Europe, and Africa have found the QA Project’s recently published monograph, A Modern Paradigm for Improving Healthcare Quality, to be a practical, useful text for their public health courses this year.

Modern Paradigm thumbnail

The monograph’s concepts of modern quality improvement (QI), case studies, and models are being taught at Boston University, Tulane University, Maastricht University in the Netherlands, and Universidade Eduardo Mondlane in Mozambique.

“The approach that the QA Project has taken fits well with Boston University School of Public Health's goal of providing practical, relevant knowledge and skills to health professionals from developing and transitional economies,” said Professor Taryn Vian. 

Professor Vian, Assistant Professor in the Department of International Health at Boston University’s School of Public Health, plans to use the monograph in the university’s Certificate Program in Management and Finance for International Health this autumn.

“The monograph presents, in a clear, concise, and illustrated way, key aspects of quality management including the improvement model, evidence-based medicine, and quality tools,” Professor Vian continued. “It emphasizes ways to apply these concepts to practical problems in the field, giving actual case examples. I also like the step-by-step instructions on how to collect, analyze, and display data for quality management decisions.”

Professor Vinod K. Thukral, Ph.D., a Clinical Professor at the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at Tulane University in New Orleans, uses the monograph in his International Health Care Management graduate courses, and to teach medical and health administration students in India.

 “The students, particularly from overseas, love it,” said Professor Thukral. “They can see the benefits of quality improvement performance in real-world examples.” He assigns monographs so students can become familiar with work being done around the world, and sees the QA Monograph as a source of reliable, practical, and useful information. “Students love it because they can see the usefulness of what they are studying.”

 “The monograph really is marvelous and a real service to all of us who are trying to struggle with this material,” agreed Helen L. Smits, M.D. A visiting scholar at the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University, she is teaching in a new masters program in public health at the Faculdidade de Medcina at the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo, Mozambique. “I am a big enthusiast about the monograph.”

Professor Smits plans to introduce QI using parts of the monograph in her general health system and policy course in Mozambique. She plans to assign the full monograph in her management course next semester and ask students to design an intervention in one of the school’s local facilities.

 At Maastricht University, Dr. Frank Verheggen, Ph.D., introduced the monograph framework to Ph.D. students in the Faculty of Health Science’s MPH program in March. He was interested in learning how the students would adopt the four models to their own situations in developing and Eastern European countries.

The QA Project’s 78-page monograph, which was funded by the U.S. Agency of International Development, outlines the principles and frameworks underlying modern quality improvement in healthcare, including the integration of evidence-based medicine in improving clinical quality. It simplifies quality improvement recognizing that this flexible methodology can be applied through a variety of approaches along a spectrum of increasing complexity. Four applications of QI are described and illustrated with case examples on individual problem solving, rapid team problem solving, systematic team problem solving, and ongoing process improvement. The monograph’s final section describes a number of useful tools in quality improvement in developing countries.

The monograph was written by Rashad Massoud, Karen Askov, Jolee Reinke, Lynne Miller Franco, Thada Bornstein, Elisa Knebel, and Catherine MacAuley. It is part of the QA Project’s Quality Assurance Monograph series, which presents validated and methodologically sound QA tools and materials to health practitioners.  To download  the monograph, link to the  QA Monograph products page.

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The Quality Assurance Project (QAP) is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development
(USAID) under Contract Number GPH-C-00-02-00004-00.