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    Army-Baylor Leadership Adds High-Reliability Science to Graduate Program

    Army-Baylor leadership adds high-reliability science to graduate program

    Photo By Valecia Dunbar | From left: Capt. Erik Wiesehan, Maj. Oscar Ochoa, Lt. Col. John Thomas, and Capt....... read more read more



    Story by Valecia Dunbar 

    U.S. Army Medical Command

    SAN ANTONIO - The Army-Baylor University Graduate Program in Health and Business Administration, one of the nation’s leading programs in graduate health and business administration, is transforming its curriculum with the introduction of high-reliability science. The area of study will be a key component of the Program’s homeland security, hospital preparedness, quality, and operations management curricula.

    “High-reliability healthcare is a key initiative of the Institute of Medicine, the Agency for Health Research and Quality, and The Joint Commission and is gaining momentum nationwide as a viable approach to ‘zero preventable harm’,” said Col. Linda Fisher, Ph.D., Army-Baylor Program assistant professor and curriculum committee chair. “Army-Baylor leaders place high reliability within the framework of readiness and its relationship to healthcare administration appropriately rests in the area of hospital preparedness, disaster response, and mitigation.”

    Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho is championing high reliability healthcare throughout military medicine and the nation’s healthcare system. During an address to a cross section of private and public sector, industry, and academia attending the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) Hot Topic Medical Symposium held Sept. 10, Horoho espoused her vision of a safety culture achieved through high reliability practices and the pursuit of zero preventable harm.

    “Advancements in Army Medicine are an important part of our healthcare and our ability to continue to improve,” said Horoho to the audience of more than 300 leaders from the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom. “But, at the heart of our pursuit of excellence is a culture of patient safety and becoming a Highly Reliable Organization (HRO). We must not accept anything other than zero harm, said Horoho. And, to achieve zero harm we will do a deep dive into the principles of high reliability today.”

    High reliability science is grounded in crisis research and puts forth the argument that catastrophes may be prevented through leadership and cultural practices that seek to achieve zero error. Practitioners argue that human error is unavoidable; however, high reliability organizations are associated with the elimination of foreseeable error through application of five broad concepts: sensitivity to operations, reluctance to simplify, preoccupation with failure, deference to expertise and resilience. High Reliability Organizations require proactive leaders that can develop a collective culture that is sensitive to small changes in the environment and seek to correct them before crisis happens.

    Developing the skills and leadership characteristics that can achieve HRO levels of organizational performance has been a primary focus of the Army-Baylor Program over the past year. Recently, Army-Baylor students engaged in a two-hour introduction and spirited discussion on the principles of high-reliability healthcare Sept. 11 on the anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Valecia Dunbar, D.M. (Doctor of Management), and adjunct professor at Army-Baylor introduced the new curriculum. Dr. Dunbar is a subject-matter expert in contemporary organizational crisis. Her evidence-based research explores the applicability of crisis decision making frameworks to 21st century organizational models. Dr. Dunbar’s research suggests that the adoption of organizational behaviors associated with high reliability leadership and culture are a plausible approach to optimizing pre-crisis preparation and post-crisis mitigation of 21st century organizational crisis types.

    Army Baylor students will continue their development of HRO concepts in the spring as part of the Quality & Operations Management courses taught by Lt. Col. Brad Beauvais, Ph.D., FACHE, and Lt. Col. Jason Richter, Ph.D. Students not only learn the basic concepts of the High Reliability Organization, but are exposed to the skills necessary to transform a poor performing organization. Students learn the application of strategic alignment tools, cultural development strategies as well as process improvement, employee engagement and customer relationship management methodologies. Ultimately, Army-Baylor students will be expected to be the critical thinkers and senior leaders of Military Healthcare System facilities. The ability to synthesize these skills and those developed at their diverse residency locations at UCLA, Kaiser Permanente, the Mayo Clinics, Massachusetts General Hospital, Johns Hopkins and others will help drive higher levels of organizational performance in the future.

    The Army-Baylor University Graduate Program in Health and Business Administration was created in 1947 as one of the first formal healthcare administration education programs in the country. Located at Joint-Base Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, Army-Baylor University has been the home of executive healthcare leadership development for over six decades. Today, under the leadership of Program Director Lt. Col. Forest Kim, Ph.D., FACHE, Army-Baylor continues to provide high-value service in the healthcare leadership community. The Army-Baylor Master of Health Administration (MHA) program is ranked #11 in the nation according to the U.S. News and World Report. More than 2,600 Program alumni have honorably and competently served the country as healthcare leaders in both the Federal and private sector.

    For more information about the Program, please visit .



    Date Taken: 09.30.2014
    Date Posted: 09.30.2014 14:08
    Story ID: 143801
    Location: SAN ANTONIO, TX, US 

    Web Views: 528
    Downloads: 0