Developing a job description for a quality improvement health care specialist is a simple process. It involves brainstorming what responsibilities within the organization this position will fulfill, as well as the skills, education and experience the ideal candidate would possess. Focusing on these main categories will help illustrate a complete picture of the ideal candidate and eventually serve as a detailed job description.
Most quality improvement jobs in health care have multiple responsibilities that fall into several specific categories, including evaluation, analysis, training and education, regulatory and compliance responsibilities, and risk management. A quality improvement health care specialist would ideally be responsible for gathering and evaluating clinical data from the organization; analyzing data for patterns and trends in care delivery; discovering the root causes for specific patient care trends; training and educating the organization’s staff to promote good quality practices and ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations; working with the organization leadership and staff to create policies and procedures that ensure good quality care and minimize harm to the patient; keeping up to date with all federal and state laws and regulations; and constantly performing follow-up evaluations of data and organizational performance to ensure consistent improvement. Some organizations also require the quality improvement specialist to oversee the organization’s reporting of patient care benchmarks and measurements to federal and state authorities.
Quality improvement specialists in health care have a clinical background, usually in nursing (a BSN or RN). Typically, an organization will likely require a master’s degree in nursing, epidemiology, public health, health care administration or a related field.
It is common to expect that quality improvement specialists have at least three years of hands-on clinical experience to understand the patient care process. Most organizations also require up to three years’ experience in quality improvement, process improvement, total quality measurement, or as a member of a hospital’s quality improvement committee. Data management and statistical experience is also desirable.
Although most job descriptions for quality improvement specialists in health care do not quantify specific skill sets beyond a keen understanding of clinical care and processes, analytical abilities and leadership skills, some organizations do list skills that an ideal candidate would possess. These could include presentation skills and mastery of public speaking; conflict resolution skills; ability to calculate complex health statistics; mastery of state and federal health care laws and regulations; attention to detail; skill at managing people and other resources; and budgetary management.