Emory Report

 November 3, 1997

 Volume 50, No. 11

Emory partners with JCAHO
in new health care academy

Emory is joining with the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and three other insitutions-Northwestern University, Ohio State University and the University of Pennsylvania-to develop a corporate "university without walls."

JCAHO is familiar to most clinicians and health care faculty as the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Committed to improving the quality of health care through accreditation and related services to support performance improvement, JCAHO evaluates and accredits more than 18,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including 11,000 hospitals and home health agencies.

The mission of the new Academy for Healthcare Quality is to improve the quality of health care provided to the public by presenting a rigorous and consistent curriculum on quality evaluation, quality management and quality improvement to health care professionals. The academy will offer graduate-level continuing professional education and certification programs for health care executives, practitioners, consultants, corporate benefits managers, third-party payers and government regulators.

"The opportunity to be an integral part of the development of the Academy for Healthcare Quality and uniting with such prestigious and honorable partners is an exciting venture," said Michael Johns, executive vice president for health affairs. "We are looking forward to sharing our educational resources for the purpose of creating an entity dedicated to the improvement of health care."

The Emory component of the academy will be coordinated by the Center for Healthcare Leadership at the School of Medicine. The center designs and coordinates a variety of continuing medical and executive educational programs at Emory and elsewhere.

In addition to members of the Center for Healthcare Leadership, other university faculty will contribute significantly to the academy's curriculum.

This curriculum will focus on topics key to the performance of leaders, managers and evaluators of health care, and topics closely related to JCAHO accreditation standards, which identify functions that most powerfully and directly influence the delivery of high-quality health services and produce optimal patient outcomes in health care settings of all types.

There will be four broad subject areas: the health care environment, organization management and leadership, patient care delivery processes, and organization evaluation and change management.

The first students will be JCAHO surveyors. They will test continuing professional education programs involving face-to-face seminars and state-of-the-art distance and accelerated learning strategies. Public enrollment of health care professionals from a variety of fields will follow shortly. A certification and recertification examination accredited by the National Commission of Certifying Agencies will test and recognize mastery of requisite performance skills by awarding the credential "Diplomate of the Academy."

For more information about the new Academy for Healthcare Quality, contact Charles Frame, managing director, Center for Healthcare Leadership, at 320-0032 or chip_frame@bus.emory.edu.

-Lorri Preston

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