Quality assurance in health professional education
How to cite this article: Ravichandran L, Swaminathan N. Quality assurance in health professional education. Sri Ramachandra J Health Sci 2022;2:1.
Health professional education (HPE) across the globe has undergone rapid change similar to other professional education. The change in learner’s behavior, availability of technology, access to knowledge through World Wide Web, and increase in demand and expectations from the society are driving HPE institutions to enhance and maintain the quality.
Quality assurance is a vital step in imparting HPE. The quality assurance in HPE is a system with a structure, process, and outcome of education that is based on predetermined standards. It guarantees the preparation of health-care providers with the necessary competencies to provide optimal and safe health care to the needy. Medical education is a professional education where competence imparting is based on core elements of context of learning, the availability of the information and able to elaborate or apply to patient care through mentoring, education counseling, interaction with peers, and in a clinical setting. The linking of theory and practice termed as practice application.
It is distinctive situation where the quality of training impacts the quality of patient care as it happens in the clinical setting. The quality of training of medical or health professionals impacts the patient outcomes. While the term quality can be interpreted as quality in medical education or quality in patient care, the interlinking is so much that they are directly related to each other. Improvement in the health-care services is directly related to the quality of training of the health professionals and the competence of the health professionals.
Now that quality has two arms, the quality of health professional training and the quality of the health services, we need to review the processes that help assure quality in both. Quality assurance process includes a good system of internal quality control and an external assessment by peers.
The internal quality assurance is executed through the internal quality assurance cell for both education and services. The external peer review is through the various accreditation agencies that are national and international.
For quality sustenance, health professions educators and leaders require to evaluate the quality of the teaching learning methods continuously. Understanding quality assurance systems and evaluation methods will help teachers to improve the student learning experience. Faculty members should be trained in quality improvement and enhancement process for the successful running of any institution.
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