Jami Jones, PhD, MHA
Professor and Chair, Department of Healthcare Leadership and Management
Medical University of South Carolina,
South Carolina, USA
“CAHME Accreditation is really a stamp of quality on your program.”
Focus on Competencies Supports Program Excellence
Her work gives her perspective on the challenges facing healthcare management education. “One of the challenges in graduate healthcare management education is to be flexible and fast enough to adapt your curriculum for the needs of a rapidly changing healthcare environment…We really have to stay in touch with the external environment to update our curriculum and make sure our students are competent and have the skills that they need when they go out into the healthcare industry. Teaching our students flexibility and adaptability is critical.”
Dr. Jones believes CAHME accreditation supports the excellence of the MUSC healthcare management program. “CAHME’s focus is competency-based education, (which) allows our program and other programs to have the flexibility to reassess the competencies, adapt, and change competencies when needed” based on real-world feedback from industry and program alumni. One recent example: a new telehealth and digital innovation certificate program.
The relationship with CAHME has been valuable because CAHME “appreciates our efforts to maintain and update our curriculum as we need to, based on our communication with our external stakeholders and environment… I appreciate the collaborative relationship between CAHME and
the health administration programs.”
Involvement with CAHME Aids Professional Development
Dr. Jones’ involvement with CAHME—as a CAHME Fellow and as a member of the CAHME Accreditation Council—has also benefited her professional development. “As a CAHME fellow, I was able to go on site visits to other programs and really learn best practices in program management. I got to see new and creative ways of doing things, of engaging students, of engaging alumni.” As a program director, Dr. Jones’ engagement with CAHME exposes her to other programs, allowing her to “learn about what they are doing and take best practices back to my faculty to make programmatic improvements.” Through site visits and accreditation council meetings, “I’ve really broadened my professional network across the US, visited schools that I might not otherwise get to visit and seen different ways of doing things.” Her work with CAHME has also provided mentorship opportunities.
“CAHME accreditation is really a stamp of quality on your program,” Dr. Jones says. “Students ask about it when they are looking at programs…
It’s important for the long-term sustainability of any healthcare management graduate program.”