One of the best parts of being a student in Fuqua’s Health Sector Management (HSM) program is having access to top-of-the-line medical facilities, physicians, and researchers within the Duke and Durham communities. Consistently ranked as one of the best hospitals and research institutions in the country, Duke Health offers a world-class hospital environment that is focused on achieving innovative and transformative advances in health care.
In addition to taking courses taught by distinguished faculty at Fuqua, I have been able to explore the challenges facing our country’s health care system by participating in a hands-on learning experience through the Quality & Innovation Scholars Program (QISP). Hosted by Duke’s chapter of the Institute for health care Improvement (IHI), QISP is a unique, interdisciplinary, team-based practicum opportunity in health care quality improvement. Each year, QISP scholars are paired with Duke Health faculty conducting forward-thinking quality improvement and innovation work. In addition, scholars complete a formalized curriculum, and discussion sessions led by faculty members.
Duke’s IHI chapter, founded in January 2009 by students from the schools of Medicine and Nursing, is a student organization dedicated to improving health care delivery and patient safety, both at Duke and beyond. Fuqua HSM students, as well as other graduate students interested in health care, are encouraged to participate in programs like QISP to learn more about patient safety and quality improvement while networking with like-minded aspiring health care professionals from across the university.
I was selected to be a QISP scholar during my first year at Fuqua and joined a team with a first-year medical student and a master’s student in biomedical engineering. Our project objective was to increase completion of follow-up provider appointment scheduling within Duke’s electronic health record system for pediatric and general medicine units at Duke Health. Under the leadership of Dr. Alicia Clark and Dr. David Ming, we were able to identify the primary challenges and opportunities that key hospital staff members have in making follow-up appointments for patients to comply with national quality standards. After four to five months of project work, we presented our findings via a poster presentation to a group of Duke physicians and researchers at the annual QISP Symposium. Further, our team’s work is continuing as key stakeholders work to implement our recommendations.
QISP is just one of many experiential learning opportunities available to Fuqua HSM students. This program is unique in that it combines academic research, hospital operations, and health policy into one project – something that business school students may not always get to experience. I couldn’t imagine a better place than Fuqua to learn and grow to become a knowledgeable health care professional during my two years in business school.