The mission of the Division of Quality Health
Care is to study, teach, and improve individual, corporate, and community health services delivery by applying
the disciplines of classical and clinical epidemiology, the decision sciences, industrial management
science,informatics, and the biomedical sciences.
the Division of Quality Health Care
Founded in 1996, the goal of the Division of Quality Health Care is to integrate hospital epidemiology and
quality assurance service activities with research focused in the areas of clinical performance outcomes. The
division consists of a multidisciplinary faculty capable of comprehensive studies of quality. Already, the
Division has won national acclaim and funding, and it has addressed public policy issues regarding
Research or past research projects focus(ed) on methodology of quality measurement and improvement, clinical
epidemiology, cancer epidemiology and prevention, sickle cell disease, obesity reduction, violence, reduction
of health disparities, medical decision making, changing physician behavior, epidemiology and prevention of
nosocomial infections, and evaluation of programs to enhance community access to care.
Beginning in 1997, a federally funded National Research Service Award has been operational, training general
internists, family practitioners, and pediatricians for leadership careers in academia, industry, government,
or health care management. An active training program in hospital epidemiology has also been established.
Most fellows in this program have completed training in Infectious Diseases or Medical Microbiology although
this is not required. Fellows in both programs are required to do original research, and are trained in study
design; critical analysis of the medical literature; and the design, implementation and analysis of clinical
trials. Fellows also participate in the clinical and administrative activities of the units within the
division, such as clinics or the infection control program.
Division members have been featured in USA Today, National Public Radio, the AHRQ’s Research Currents, numerous
local television and print media, and have won awards from the Governor of Virginia, their specialty societies,
and the University (teaching awards and research awards). The need for the division's work could not be
greater. Defining, understanding, and improving quality in health care is still a battle cry from consumers and
purchasers of health care, who are now willing to pay for quality. Providers need to become efficient and
effective without sacrificing quality as competition for health care resources increases. They seek more
effective clinical management strategies and strategies to more effectively implement change. Managed care
organizations need to demonstrate quality as part of their value to buyers and beneficiaries.
Public and private payors and beneficiaries also need improved research on quality. They seek relevant
information that may be easily interpreted regarding provider quality given restricted choice. They also seek
personal, friendly service, assurance of access, appropriate lengths of stay, less expense, and faster
Pharmaceutical, device, and equipment manufacturers also need research on quality. To participate in the new
health care marketplace, these companies need to determine, demonstrate, and enhance the efficiency and
cost-effectiveness of their products as part of a population-based health care improvement strategy.
Jointly, the Division's research addresses each of these constituents' needs. As can be seen, faculty areas of
expertise span a breadth of issues in health care quality.
Division of Quality Health Care 2004-2005 Strategic Plan