Arizona State University Uses AHRQ’s Quality and Disparities Reports in Curriculum
The College of Health Solutions, created in 2012 at Arizona State University, is using National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports in its curriculum for all graduate and undergraduate health science students.
"We want to prepare a workforce that is reflective of the population," explained Alison Essary, D.H.Sc., M.H.P.E., P.A.-C., director of student affairs and a clinical associate professor. "Students need to understand where gaps in care occur and what needs remain unfulfilled. AHRQ’s National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports are an excellent source of data and benchmarks for students to use."
AHRQ’s National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports, issued annually, provide data based on hundreds of health care measures in categories such as effectiveness, patient safety, timeliness, patient-centeredness, care coordination, efficiency, health system infrastructure, and access. AHRQ will issue its 12th edition of the reports in 2015.
The College of Health Solutions has about 5,300 students, with undergraduates comprising 85 percent of the total. Graduate students in the School for the Science of Health Care Delivery find the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports a good source of material to inform their masters’ theses.
For example, "One student wrote a thesis on immunization patterns in communities served by the county health department," Dr. Essary said, "The Quality and Disparities Reports helped inform her research."
Dr. Essary also noted that some of the findings in the AHRQ reports are being used to supplement content in a course on the social determinants of health. In particular, Dr. Essary said, the reports helped students bridge the gap between theory and application—particularly when applying concepts to population health, health policy, and economics.
The school also augments curricula with AHRQ’s patient and consumer resources.
"It’s critical that we engage patients and families in their care," Dr. Essary explained. "Educating students on resources for patients and families will ultimately enhance the quality and safety of care."