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Patient Safety and Health Care Quality Programs

Make Strengthening Patient Safety Your Career Focus

Careers in patient safety are rewarding in so many ways. You can oversee initiatives that reduce costs and save lives, and you can qualify for well-paid positions. See what you can achieve in this field with the online health care quality and patient safety certificate and degree programs from the George Washington University (GW).

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Complete the form to learn more about our programs.*

*Note, 45 transferrable credits required to apply for BSHS and BSHS/MSHS dual degree programs.

Created with the NCQA

GW created the MSHS and Graduate Certificate in Health Care Quality programs in partnership with the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

100% Online Courses

With GW’s degree and certificate programs, you’ll take convenient online patient safety courses that prepare you for health care safety roles.

Ranked a Top 65 University

There are about 4,000 universities in the nation, and U.S. News & World Report ranked the George Washington University No. 63.1,2

Medical errors claim 250,000 American lives every year.3 Fortunately, patient safety professionals have the power to reverse this trend. If you’re ready to lead these efforts, get started in a health care quality degree or certificate program at GW.

Our online programs pair practical knowledge with hands-on skills development, getting you ready to thrive on day one of your health care safety career. Experienced faculty lead each health care quality course–follow in their footsteps by gaining expertise for critical patient safety roles.

GW offers health care quality courses online, enabling you to earn your degree flexibly so you can succeed in your current role while preparing for the next one. By acquiring your degree or certificate, you can develop skills that patient safety and health care quality positions demand.

Health Care Quality Degree and Certificate Programs

Online

4 – 5 years Duration

87 Credits

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Program Details

  • One of seven founding health care quality programs certified by CAHME
  • Transfer up to 60 credit hours into the dual degree program
  • Take nine graduate credits as part of the undergraduate program
  • Fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools

This dual degree program enables you to stand out for leadership positions with organizations focusing on value-based care. You can gain highly sought competencies for analyzing clinical research, strengthening patient safety, improving health care quality, and more.

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Online

4 – 5 years Duration

87 Credits

Request Information

Program Details

  • One of seven founding health care quality programs certified by CAHME
  • Transfer up to 60 credit hours into the dual degree program
  • Take nine graduate credits as part of the undergraduate program
  • Fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools

This dual degree program enables you to stand out for leadership positions with organizations focusing on value-based care. You can gain highly sought competencies for analyzing clinical research, strengthening patient safety, improving health care quality, and more.

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Online

24 Months Duration

36 Credits

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Program Details

  • Prepare to develop, deploy, and sustain patient safety initiatives
  • The median salary for this program’s graduates is $75,000
  • 84% job placement rate after graduation
  • Fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools

Demand for quality-based care is rising. Are you ready to become the leader with the patient safety expertise that health organizations need? If so, get started in GW’s online Master of Science in Health Sciences (MSHS) in Health Care Quality program.

GW’s health care quality program helps you master competencies for meeting health and safety care standards. The online courses focus on patient safety, leadership, and research theory relevant to improving health care quality.

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Online

1.5 Years Duration

18 Credits

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Program Details

  • Take health care quality courses that teach the implementation of patient safety initiatives
  • Earn the graduate certificate 100% online, without visiting campus
  • Developed through a partnership with the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)
  • Fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools

Gain skills for satisfying the increased demand for professionals specializing in patient safety at GW. With this certificate program, you’ll take convenient online courses that prepare you for leadership roles.

The Graduate Certificate in Health Care Quality program gives you a chance to take graduate-level health care quality courses without a master’s degree. You’ll also have the option to transfer each semester credit to the MSHS in Health Care Quality, allowing you to finish that program even faster.

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Pursue a Degree or Certificate to Start Your Patient Safety Career

Study health care quality at GW to gain the practical knowledge necessary to lead patient safety initiatives within health systems. You can prepare to elevate patient safety and health care quality standards in roles that include:

  • Medical and health services manager: $104,280 per year (median)4
  • Director of quality management: $105,823 per year (average)5
  • Clinical director, quality services: $90,777 per year (average)6
  • RN quality improvement coordinator: $73,818 per year (average)7
  • Patient safety specialist: $98,500 per year (average)8

$20 billion The estimated cost of medical errors per year in the United States,9 showing the need for health care safety professionals

32% Employment growth for medical and health services managers4

$195,630 Top 10% of annual salaries for medical and health services managers10

Frequently Asked Questions

As you explore an online program at the George Washington University, our dedicated staff is here to support you. If you have a question we don’t cover here, request more information or call 844-386-7323.

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GW operates on the semester system system with the fall semester beginning in August, the spring semester beginning in January and the summer semester beginning in April or May. Some programs admit new students in all three semesters, while other programs admit new students once or twice per year. Your start date will depend on which program you select  so please complete the “Request Info” form under “Learn More Today” and someone will contact you with more information.

Online classes are designed to take the same amount of time as on-campus classes. They are taught by GW faculty members and have comparable assignments to campus programs that can be completed off-site. Time spent per course varies by the course’s length and credit hours. For example, students are expected to spend approximately 14 hours per week working on an eight week long, three-credit hour course and 7.5 hours per week working on a fifteen week, three-credit hour course. As an off-campus student, you also save time that on-campus students spend commuting.

While most studies will be completed online, your program may require you to visit campus during the course of your studies.

No, you do not need to attend class at a specific time. Our online courses are designed to be asynchronous, giving you flexibility.

Assignments will have specified due dates that must be met. Students are expected to read the weekly readings, participate in online weekly discussion boards and other asynchronous group activities, and submit papers and other assignments through the online learning management system.

Yes, an academic advisor will work with you throughout the admissions process, scheduling classes, and the course of your studies. GW also offers our online students 24/7 technical support.

Students in GW’s master’s, bachelor’s and post-bachelor’s programs may be eligible for financial aid. Students seeking graduate certificates are not eligible for federal financial aid.

You may also be able to benefit from loans, institutional scholarships, merit- or need-based grants, employer reimbursement programs, and more. Explore your options on our Tuition and Financial Aid page.

Yes, GW is regionally accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

You can request more information to speak with a GW program manager, or you can begin the application process today.

Yes. GW’s transcript ordering service is available to interested applicants of the programs listed on this website. The service is designed to make the application process simpler for you, while also helping us expedite the admissions decision on your behalf. Our transcript services team will order all domestic transcripts once you decide to allow us to help you with this task.

The George Washington University will only request and pay for your domestic college transcripts that allow third-party requests up to the point of admission to the university. This means that any coursework completed after you are advised of an admission decision, including coursework you are currently completing, will still need to be submitted by you.

It is your responsibility to request and purchase these additional transcripts to complete your file. This information may be used to determine your eligibility for financial aid, admission, and potential transfer credits. Additionally, some institutions may require you to obtain your official transcripts directly; if this is the case, we will contact you.

Sources

  1. U.S. News & World Report. (2021 April 27). A Guide to the Changing Number of U.S. Universities. Retrieved December 17, 2021, from https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/how-many-universities-are-in-the-us-and-why-that-number-is-changing.
  2. U.S. News & World Report. (2021). Best Colleges Rankings: George Washington University. Retrieved December 14, 2021, from https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/george-washington-university-1444.
  3. CNBC. (2018 February 22). “The Third-Leading Cause of Death in US Most Doctors Don’t Want You to Know About.” Retrieved January 4, 2022, from https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/22/medical-errors-third-leading-cause-of-death-in-america.html.
  4. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021 September 8). Medical and Health Services Managers. Retrieved December 8, 2021, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm.
  5. PayScale. (2022 January 8). Average Quality Management (QM) Director Salary. Retrieved January 21, 2022, from https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Quality_Management_(QM)_Director/Salary.
  6. PayScale. (2022 January 11). Average Director, Clinical Services Salary. Retrieved January 21, 2022, from https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Director%2C_Clinical_Services/Salary.
  7. PayScale. (2022 January 1). Average Quality Improvement Coordinator (RN) Salary. Retrieved January 21, 2022, from https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Quality_Improvement_Coordinator_(RN)/Salary.
  8. PayScale (2021 November 2). Average Patient Safety Specialist Salary. Retrieved January 4, 2022, from https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Patient_Safety_Specialist/Salary.
  9. The Patient Safety Company. (2021 December 14). “The Financial Impact of Patient Safety Errors.” Retrieved January 4, 2022, from https://www.patientsafety.com/en/blog/financial-impact-of-patient-safety-errors.
  10. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021 September 8). Medical and Health Services Managers: Pay. Retrieved January 21, 2022, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm#tab-5.