Public Health

Certificate of Graduate Study in Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety

Healthcare quality and patient safety are priorities for consumers, as well as clinicians and managers of hospitals, nursing homes, physician practices, and other health care facilities. With the introduction of value-based contracting and accountable care agreements, providers are under growing pressure to achieve better patient outcomes. Recent research suggests that medical error may be considered the third leading cause of death in the United States. A fundamental strategy for improving patient experience and care quality is the introduction of quality improvement and patient safety initiatives, and greater attention to health literacy and communication skills of all personnel. In addition to patient care improvements, these initiatives are requisite management strategies for avoiding financial penalties imposed by insurers.

This 12-credit Certificate of Graduate Study in Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety (HQPS) provides healthcare professionals and administrators with the skills to develop and manage such initiatives. These practical skills are important to mid-career professionals, pre-career students and individuals who aspire to quality improvement roles in healthcare delivery, as well as students of quality improvement who work or plan to work in other settings such as community or population health.

This certificate provides individuals from diverse backgrounds with a solid foundation of knowledge and skills in health literacy and communication, quality improvement, and patient safety; as well as offers students the opportunity to pursue interests in health systems, basic public health sciences, and data analysis and translation.

Certificate students who apply for, and are admitted to, the master of public health degree, may transfer up to 12 credits from their certificate coursework.

The three required certificate courses and some electives are offered using weekly, asynchronous online technology. Classroom courses are scheduled in the late afternoon and evening for the convenience of working students. Fall and Spring courses meet once a week and are held in the Wishcamper Center on the USM Portland campus.  All electives are accessible live-at-a-distance via two-way audio/video through PolyCom connection to other UMaine campuses or via internet on students’ own devices.

For more information, please contact:
Judy Tupper, DHEd, CHES, CPPS
Muskie School
Phone: (207) 228-8407
Email: judy.tupper@maine.edu

The certificate is designed to permit enrollment in any semester, with one of the three required courses offered each semester.

Required Courses (nine credits):

Elective Courses (select 3 credits)

*Prerequisite: MPH 676 Data Management and Analytics or permission of instructor.

Please visit USM Admissions for information on the graduate certificate program application process.

Applicants, at a minimum, must have completed their bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, or have permission of the Certificate Coordinator to apply.

Course Sequence

Students beginning in the fall start with MPH 590.
Students beginning in the spring start with MPH 670.
Students beginning in the summer start with MPH 683.