Improving the quality of healthcare is meaningful, important, life-changing work

Improving the quality of healthcare is meaningful, important, life-changing work, but it can also be very challenging. As quality improvement professionals, supporting one another through peer-to-peer sharing and collaborative relationships is critical to success. It takes all of us with unique perspectives and expertise to facilitate the changes needed to continue making healthcare better.

AQHA is a key piece of the professional support needed to change healthcare in America, and the annual AHQA Quality Summit provides a place to receive and share that support with others working to improve healthcare quality. I was honored to attend the 2018 Quality Summit in Baltimore as a recipient of a James Q. Cannon Memorial Scholarship. At the summit I met and exchanged ideas with quality improvement professionals from around the nation. Some were people I have spoken to on the phone many times, and putting a face to the name strengthened those relationships. Others I had never met, and we all left with a larger and stronger network of support. Attendees also had the opportunity to interact frequently with AHQA staff to share successes and request support with challenges in quality improvement work.

Peer-to-peer sharing was available in the many breakout sessions, with topics ranging from reducing provider burden, to patient and family engagement, and medication safety. Most relevant to my work as a pharmacist were the sessions on opioid safety. Hearing from QIN-QIOs and others on their successful work in this area is now helping to shape our opioid work at the atom Alliance QIN.

As we near the end of the 11th SOW, it was helpful to hear from Dr. Paul McGann and Jeneen Iwugo from CMS in a plenary session on the future of the QIO program. Another plenary focused on workplace resiliency and the importance of showing gratitude to reduce burnout. As all of us work together to change lives for the better through higher quality healthcare, these skills will be key for us to practice and share with others.

I encourage you to attend the Quality Summit in 2019. As QIN-QIOs transition into the next scope of work, our capacity to change healthcare and the corresponding challenges will continue to increase. The Quality Summit provides the resources, relationships, and support we need to bring patients and communities the healthcare they deserve.