How do healthcare leaders drive quality, streamline processes, and promote effective decision-making in the sector’s fast-paced and rapidly evolving environment?

“By deploying technology and data analytics,” suggests Patricia Reid Ponte, professor in the Boston College (BC) online Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) program.

Inspired by her mother, who was a nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital, MHA Professor Dr. Reid Ponte, initiated her career in healthcare at age 16. After an extensive career serving as Chief Nursing Officer and Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and later as Executive Director of Oncology Nursing and Clinical Service at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Reid Ponte has taken on the challenge of educating the next generation of healthcare leaders.

As a jointly-appointed faculty member of the BC Woods College of Advancing Studies and the BC Connell School of Nursing, where she is helping to develop the school’s doctorate of nursing practice program, Reid Ponte brings a wealth of knowledge and critical, real-life insights to her courses.

For example, in her Healthcare Quality Management course, Reid Ponte provides students with a deep-rooted understanding and appreciation of how to drive quality through impactful, data-driven decision making and leadership. To improve patient care and safety, develop patient-centered treatment plans, boost process efficiency, and devise methodologies that promote quality, Reid Ponte teaches BC MHA students to harness information and data.

The BC MHA Healthcare Quality Management course provides a two-pronged approach for students:

“Students work as part of a team to solve a healthcare-related problem using the Design-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control or DMAIC framework, as well as Lean management and Six Sigma principles. The project runs the length of the course, building towards an executive summary of the team’s solution that shows how these concepts were applied,” said Reid Ponte.

“At the same time, students work individually to create and interpret graphical displays of data, and apply statistical principles to case analyses in order to develop process-driven decisions and solutions,” Reid Ponte continues.

“By employing both approaches in the course, we can be sure our students are able to answer the call from today’s healthcare organizations for professionals with a blend of leadership and technical skills who can make an immediate contribution,” Reid Ponte concludes.

Healthcare Quality Management is one of 12 courses in the employer-aligned MHA program, where faculty expertise and industry experience combine to ensure a cutting-edge and relevant curriculum design.

“The BC online MHA program is high quality in its content, programming and courses,” says Reid Ponte. “Based on my field experience, having gone through extensive leadership development, and having taught graduate students for decades — this program is right ‘on the mark’ regarding positioning these graduate students for leadership in the healthcare sector.”


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