To the members of the QMH community:
As the new Editor of Quality Management in Health Care, I'd like to introduce myself and describe my vision for the journal. First, though, I must extend a hearty “Thank You” to Kathleen E. White, who served as Editor for the last 4 years. Kathi worked hard with publisher Jordan Schilling to bring the journal out of the paper age and into the Editorial Manager system. She also introduced innovations to the journal such as the regular columns from Intermountain Healthcare and the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality. We will continue to run this popular feature that gives insight into the workings of 2 well-known organizations in quality management.
I would also like to thank all the members of the editorial and production team at Wolters Kluwer and Editorial Manager, who have helped me begin to understand the tasks of the editor, the ins and outs of the electronic management system, and the needs of the production process. I continue to learn and appreciate all your extra efforts to bring me up to speed!
As an academic at a university with a large health care system, my research is conducted at what our colleague Michele Issel has called the intersection of organization, implementation, and evaluation science. After completing a master's degree at the Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy at the College of William and Mary, I started in health services research in 1993 at the Urban Institute's Health Policy Center in Washington, DC, and later entered the PhD program in Health Services and Policy Analysis at Berkeley, where I specialized in Organizations. After a fellowship at the National Center for Health Statistics, I joined the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHBSPH). Currently, I am a professor in JHBSPH and jointly appointed in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine's Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality and at the Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business.
Working at Johns Hopkins has offered me a number of illuminating glimpses into the operations of the Health System. I contributed to the theoretical expression of the “fractal” quality management infrastructure used in the System, and I serve as a Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP) Senior Executive for a Neurological Intensive Care Unit and Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (CUSP is a unit-level strategy for quality and safety improvement using tools for teamwork and communication). I advise the Lean Leadership Program at Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and work with the Johns Hopkins Hospital Department of Nursing to apply Implementation Science in hospital-based nursing research to improve care delivery. Since 2011, I have advised Johns Hopkins Health Care, LLC, the organization's insurance arm, on evaluation of population health programs using claims data.
Of course, this description of my background is only relevant in that it colors my thinking about quality management in health care. In my view, a journal bearing such a name should include scholarly, methodologically strong articles about the mechanisms by which delivery of best practice health care in any health care setting is ensured, as well as robust applied pieces that describe practical how-to steps to implement promising programs. We must focus on how the provision of reliably high-quality care is managed, whether via policies, procedures, schedules, programs and practices, incentives, or infrastructural elements, and consider pragmatic realities, challenges in application, barriers, and facilitators. All levels of an organization must be engaged in order to deliver high-quality care, and consideration of quality should encompass all of the National Academy of Medicine's 6 aims including patient centeredness, efficiency, equity, safety, timeliness, and effectiveness.
Thus, from my perspective, Quality Management in Health Care should start at the desire to deliver best evidence care and walk backward through the influences on the achievement of that goal. Topics and fields relevant to this inquiry are many, and transdisciplinary approaches are welcome. We anticipate continuing to publish high-quality studies in quality improvement, implementation science, organizational learning, change management, organizational structure, coordination, organizational behavior, behavioral economics, organizational economics, human resources policy, strategic management, team science, social networks, psychology, and sociology, among other fields.
In closing, let me share my appreciation of you, the readers, authors, reviewers, and editorial board members, for your patience with the editorial transition. To all members of the QMH community, thank you for your continuing support of Quality Management in Health Care!
—Jill A. Marsteller, PhD, MPP