About

Advance your career in health care quality and patient safety leadership, management, or research through GW’s innovative online master’s program in
Health Care Quality.

Patient and clinician

  MSHS Graduate Certificate
Course Format Online Online
Entry Terms Spring, Summer, Fall Spring, Summer, Fall
Degree Requirements 36 credit hours 18 credit hours

As more information about the structure, process, and outcomes of health care emerges, and the science of quality expands, quality improvement is becoming a distinct area of expertise. The Health Care Quality program at GW was developed to meet an emerging demand for quality and patient safety specialists who have the capacity and competence to grow and sustain a culture of continuous improvement at all levels and within every sector of the health care delivery system.

Graduates will be prepared for quality and patient safety leadership, management, and research positions within health care organizations or policy agencies, and be able to:

  • Develop, implement, and evaluate quality and patient safety improvement initiatives
  • Cultivate strategies to lead organizational change toward a quality-focused culture
  • Translate national quality expectations into daily operations
  • Apply processes and tools to measure, analyze, and interpret quality improvement data
  • Design and implement information technology systems to support quality assurance
  • Conduct research to drive clinical and operational decision-making

Learn more about the online Health Care Quality Master’s.

Why Should I Choose GW?

The program's versatile distance-based format allows health care professional to advance their education while working full time, without sacrificing a rigorous curriculum and access to the resources and experts at GW. Students learn in a convenient distance-learning format from nationally renowned faculty, who all hold positions at GW and some are affiliated with the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). All courses are web-based and offered in a flexible, asynchronous format to meet the needs of busy professionals.

The rigorous curriculum focuses on implementing quality and patient safety improvement initiatives; facilitating organizational change toward a quality-focused culture; translating national quality expectations into daily operations; evaluating processes and tools to measure, analyze, and interpret quality improvement data; and utilizing information technology systems to support quality assurance. All courses from the Graduate Certificate are transferable into the MSHS in Health Care Quality. Students must apply and be accepted to the MSHS program to have the credits transfer.

Up to six credit hours of coursework may be accepted as transfer credit if deemed to be equivalent to existing courses and approved by the department chair or program director. However, it is worth remembering that no course taken in the past, which has been applied towards a degree can be transferred into our degree programs. For that reason, we encourage students who have already earned degrees in similar disciplines to consider the graduate certificate program.

Who Benefits from the Program?

Prospective students and students currently enrolled in the Health Care Quality Program at GW have varied academic, professional, and health care backgrounds. The unifying passion among GW’s HCQ students is a drive to improve quality and patient safety in health care settings.

The HCQ program creates a learning environment in which students engage in class activities that are meaningful and immediately applicable. Therefore, students are expected to have at least two years of professional experience working in a health care setting, which does not need to be clinical.

What Career Opportunities Await Our Graduates?

After graduation, the opportunities are plentiful for an individual seeking employment in the health care quality field, such as:

  • Health quality manager for a health center, hospital, rehabilitation center, skilled nursing facility, or nursing home
  • Quality assurance consulting
  • Analyst for health policy organizations with a focus on quality, such as CMS, NQF, AHRQ, and JACHO

Click here to learn more about a career in Health Care Quality.

Curriculum

The rigorous curriculum focuses on:

  • implementing quality and patient safety improvement initiatives;
  • facilitating organizational change toward a quality-focused culture;
  • translating national quality expectations into daily operations;
  • evaluating processes and tools to measure, analyze, and interpret quality improvement data; and
  • utilizing information technology systems to support quality assurance.

All courses from the Graduate Certificate are transferable into the MSHS in Health Care Quality.

Distance Learning

Students learn in a convenient online learning format from nationally renowned faculty. All courses are web-based and offered in a flexible, asynchronous format to meet the needs of busy professionals. Students are invited to attend select on-campus experiences, during which they can interact with faculty and other students.

Learn more about Online Education in the GW Health Sciences programs

Accreditation

GW recognizes the importance of maintaining accreditation by appropriate academic and professional agencies and organizations. We believe that ongoing accreditation of the University, its schools, departments, and programs enhances our reputation as a center of academic excellence and as a trusted provider of educational and professional preparation. This is important to prospective and current students, as well as to our alumni.

The George Washington University is:

  • Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, the regional accrediting agency
  • On the approved list of the American Association of University Women
  • Member of the College Board

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