Curriculum
View the full-time and part-time schedules.

The MHQS curriculum has been tailored to help clinicians improve patient safety and health care quality in an increasingly complex and evolving health care environment. Coursework in the program emphasizes the following core themes:

Operational Quality and Safety

Analyze the evolving definitions of quality and safety in health care, and how they can be measured and improved. Explore how culture, human factors and system theory affect safety science, and examine how detection methods affect error impact. Special focus areas include:

  • Procedural safety
  • Medication safety
  • Ambulatory safety
  • Cognitive bias
Informatics

Examine the role of informatics in health care improvement. Explore the digital infrastructure for capturing and organizing data, as well as user interfaces used by patients and providers. You will focus on how to collect and display data in the context of real improvement work. Other topics include health care privacy issues and the design of:

  • Clinical databases
  • Electronic health records
  • Patient portals
Leadership

Gain an overview of leadership concepts that are most relevant to safety and quality, as well as those required to drive meaningful change. You will learn to initiate action in the current complex health care environment in which stakeholders have varying and often competing needs. Foundational concepts include:

  • Change management
  • Negotiation and consensus building
  • Making a financial case for quality and safety
  • Managing teams for improvement
Quantitive Approaches

Learn to assess outcomes specific to ongoing quality improvement (QI) research using statistical processes. You will examine study design—including measurement, bias and sample sizes—and gain the skills to:

  • Apply quantitative methods to QI work
  • Analyze simple data and present findings
  • Discuss and weigh general institutional review board (IRB) issues
Risk

Obtain an overview of malpractice and evolution of the field, along with strategies for promoting safety and error disclosure. You will explore innovations and interventions in different areas of risk, including:

  • Diagnostic process
  • Communication failures
  • Procedural safety
  • Medication safety
Capstone

Along with a faculty mentor, you will apply the tools, strategies and methods gained from didactic courses to develop a solution to an evidence-based problem in health care delivery. The selected challenge may be driven by a need in:

  • Quality
  • Safety
  • Informatics
  • Risk

Examples of Capstone Projects

  • Analysis of 30-day readmissions for congestive heart failure patients discharged to acute rehabilitation from general medicine wards over a four-month period
  • Redesign process to improve care of patients receiving outpatient parenteral antibiotic treatment
  • Evaluate barriers to physician use of heparin protocols in the inpatient setting
  • Key Benefits

    •  Intensive, compressed format, designed to accelerate your ascent into a leadership role focused on health care quality and safety

    •  Distinguished faculty who are recognized leaders in some of the nation’s most prestigious health care systems

    • Residential program that allows for unparalleled exposure to best practices within Harvard’s network of academic medical centers and community hospitals

    • Learning model that combines concrete theory with applied learning

    • Dynamic format with large- and small-group cohorts to enhance learning through shared perspectives

    • Incredible community of professional peers that you can call upon long after the program is over

    • Capstone Project that is aligned with your goals and interests

    • Carefully designed curriculum that focuses on all operational aspects of health care quality and safety

    • Exposure to best practices within the Harvard network of hospitals, including Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston Children's Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, among others

  • Academic Calendar