A New Product Helps Maximize Workforce Potential

A revenue-generating resource that accelerates workforce readiness advances an association’s mission and allows it to solve longstanding healthcare challenges by improving quality and patient safety.

The pandemic highlighted the vital role healthcare quality professionals play, particularly in advancing population health and quality review and accountability. But something was missing: a focus on workforce competency development.

Workforce Accelerator—a revenue-generating new product launched by the National Association for Healthcare Quality—helps to bridge that gap by guiding organizations to more effectively assess, upskill, and leverage their quality workforce. “This is a big opportunity for us to go in and advance our mission,” said Stephanie Mercado, CAE, NAHQ’s CEO and executive director.

NAHQ has focused on helping individual contributors in healthcare quality build the skills and competencies they need to support healthcare quality across the entire continuum of care. However, unlike for physicians, for example, who follow a regimented career path that includes medical school, residency, and ongoing certification, there is no formal pathway for healthcare quality professionals.

While NAHQ has helped individuals for decades, improving healthcare delivery one professional at a time was going to be difficult. Workforce Accelerator allows NAHQ to partner with healthcare organizations to support them with solutions to accelerate healthcare quality professionals’ workforce readiness.

“For all the people who have been developing their quality staff, infrastructure, and departments on the fly, at the local level, without the benefit of a standard, they don’t have to do that anymore,” Mercado said. “I believe completely that we’re going to make a huge impact on healthcare and healthcare quality.”

An organizational focus that expands how the customer is defined can help other associations develop successful new products, Mercado said. If your members need education and training, look at what type of support you can offer at the organizational level, for example.

Launching new products and services is a survival strategy for associations. According to Marketing General Incorporated’s 2021 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report, 78 percent of associations reported that they developed new products and services to assist members and member companies over the past year.

“Building a new product offering for a new market is no small task, and it definitely requires a lot of thoughtful planning and agility,” Mercado said. And NAHQ is in it for the long haul. Workforce Accelerator is a transformational product with a 10-year horizon. So far, it’s been so successful that NAHQ is not accepting any more clients for 2021.

“We are a 40-year-old startup that is really reinventing ourselves and moving into new markets with new products and solving longstanding challenges in healthcare that have eluded us until today,” Mercado said.

(ipopba/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Lisa Boylan

By Lisa Boylan

Lisa Boylan is a senior editor of Associations Now. MORE

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