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Degrees Launched in Healthcare Quality, Patient Safety

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May 31, 2006

The Institute for Healthcare Studies at the Feinberg School of Medicine will inaugurate two new programs in Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety to address the burgeoning need for information related to these areas of intervention, research and management.

This is the nation's first joint master's program in healthcare quality and patient safety and the first program to provide a classroom-based master's degree in patient safety. 

“Following the release of the Institute of Medicine's reports 'To Err is Human' and 'Crossing the Quality Chasm,' there has been an tremendous increase in interest in health care quality and patient safety. These relatively new disciplines have emerged as central to the development of good healthcare and require knowledge and skills not currently included in standard curricula,” said Kevin B. Weiss, MD, the program director.

Weiss is professor of medicine (general internal medicine) and director of the Institute for Healthcare Studies at Feinberg.

The master's degree program is offered by the Institute for Healthcare Studies, through the Graduate School at Northwestern University. The program is designed for individuals working in clinical (physicians, nurses, pharmacists, etc.) and non-clinical fields (healthcare leaders, administrators and policy professionals) who want to focus their career development on these areas in healthcare. Applications for admissions to the program for 2006 are being accepted now through June 30.

The 18-month program is designed for both early and mid-career learners who want to advance their knowledge while continuing to work in the healthcare system. The program includes two-week summer immersion courses, evening classes during the regular school year and a mentored two-semester capstone practicum with a healthcare quality or patient safety project designed by the student. This master's program will be dynamic and interactive and will involve direct application of key content, knowledge and skills.

The Institute for Healthcare Studies also has created a Certificate program in Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety for those students (clinical and non-clinical) who want to advance their knowledge in these areas and become effective practitioners without committing to the longer period of study that is required in the Master's degree program.

Beginning in July 2006, the Certificate program will be offered in two two-week intensive summer sessions with 10 months of monthly webcasts and a structured independent study between the two sessions. Applications for 2006 are being accepted now through June 30.

Courses for both programs will be taught by Northwestern faculty representing leading clinicians, researchers and educators in the fields of healthcare quality and patient safety. There also will be guest lectures by noted national scholars in these fields.

For more information, contact Donna Woods at woods@northwestern.edu or (312) 503-2937.

Topics: University