October 19, 1997

Media Contacts: Sarah Goodwin, 404/727-3366 - sgoodwi@emory.edu

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

The 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 program 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 M. E. Johns, M.D., executive vice president for Health Affairs, Emory University. "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 Emory University School of Medicine. The Center designs and coordinates a variety of continuing medical and executive educational programs offered at Emory and elsewhere.

In addition to members of the Center for Healthcare Leadership, other university faculty will contribute significantly to the curriculum of the Academy for Healthcare Quality.

This curriculum will focus on topics key to the performance of leaders, managers and evaluators of health care and 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 Joint Commission 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 healthcare 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 with award of the credential "Diplomate of the Academy."

For more information about the new Academy for Healthcare Quality, contact Charles D. Frame, PhD, managing director, Center for Healthcare Leadership, 404/320-0032, chip_frame@bus.emory.edu.

For more general information on The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center, call Health Sciences News and Information at 404-727-5686, or send e-mail to hsnews@emory.edu.

Copyright ©Emory University, 1997. All Rights Reserved.
Send comments to whscweb@emory.edu