Global health leader program focuses on HIT, care delivery

Team of doctors talking

The Safety, Quality, Informatics and Leadership (SQIL) program at Harvard Medical School takes the learning health system as the framework for understanding the role of health information technology in providing safe, high-quality care.

It’s focused on developing leaders who can transform healthcare systems globally. Participants join online modules, participate in webinars and work on team projects in addition to attending three face-to-face workshops, held in London, Dubai and Boston. A fourth workshop has been added in China, due to travel restrictions some participants faced, according to an article in NEJM Catalyst.

The learning modules are focused on patient safety, quality of care, informatics and leadership. The workshops have involved frank discussions about the pros and cons of nationalized healthcare and EHR adoption as well as the effects of war on healthcare infrastructure.

Participants also submit a capstone project with accompanying discussion of potential challenges, risk-mitigation strategies, and approaches to ensuring sustainability and scalability. One involved using HIT to reduce follow-up time after an abnormal test result.

With participants around the globe, a number of challenges arise, such as language barriers. Not all communication tools and HIT platforms are universally supported and available, and EHR adoption rates vary among the represented students. However, participants say the global diversity remains one of the program’s major strengths.

Related: Cultural competence must begin in medical school

As part of its effort to create the “medical school of the future,” the American Medical Association recently announced that health system science courses will be added to med school curricula. These courses will focus on areas such as value in healthcare, patient safety, quality improvement, teamwork, clinical informatics, healthcare policy and healthcare economics.

Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic/ Arizona State University and the University of California, San Francisco all have announced new programs to update medical education.