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    Ryan Reaves
    Ryan Reaves

    This episode of the Women in Healthcare podcast features an insightful discussion with host Adrienne Lloyd and Stephanie Mercado, CEO of the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ). In the interview, Mercado shares her perspective on the growing importance of quality and safety in healthcare. As the leader of NAHQ, an organization dedicated to advancing healthcare quality through competencies and certification, Mercado discusses the value of quality improvement tools and strategies. She highlights how these methods can help healthcare professionals navigate challenges and changes in today's complex environment.

    Quality improvement tools and strategies

    Medical practices and healthcare organizations can tackle a myriad of challenges by simply advocating for a pervasive quality and safety mindset. Lloyd and Mercado both underscored the critical importance of implementing robust tools and strategies to enhance both patient care and safety. Lloyd discussed the transformative power of methodologies like Lean and Six Sigma, and how these frameworks have catalyzed positive change within healthcare. Building upon this, Mercado emphasized the broader significance of quality improvement tools such as Situation Background Analysis and Recommendation (SBAR) and Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA), noting their efficacy in streamlining processes, mitigating risk and fostering a culture of safety.

    Managing Stress with Resilience in Healthcare

    Resilience is increasingly becoming a fundamental trait for healthcare leaders to navigate challenges in their roles. Within an uncertain and rapidly changing field such as healthcare, it is important to cultivate resilience by adopting a continuous improvement mindset. Lloyd and Mercado both highlight how to manage stress by implementing structured approaches and utilizing tools for organization and self-assessment. Simple strategies such as journaling specific concerns in both professional and personal settings can empower healthcare leaders to address anxiety while facing their many inherent challenges.

    Taking Ownership and Control in Work and Personal Life

    Mercado underscored the critical role of strategic timing in both professional and personal spheres, recognizing its impact on navigating challenges effectively. She also emphasized the power of adaptability combined with patience to tackle industry challenges. By clarifying roles, unpacking concerns, and embracing an iterative mindset, professionals can better manage stress and drive positive change.

    Healthcare quality and safety initiatives

    Viewing quality as a long-term business strategy leads to more reliable outcomes than short-term compliance. NAHQ’s ambitions involve preparing the workforce to advance quality and safety objectives. Healthcare executives can take ownership of their training and keep their teams focused on the work needed to create a positive effect.


    Quality and safety encompass more than just regulatory compliance – they should be viewed as a business strategy that utilizes standard and reliable problem-solving techniques. When faced with dynamic issues, tools like FMEA and SBAR can help structure thinking and planning. Despite uncertainty, focusing on continuous improvement through patience and small wins can move the quality agenda forward. By clarifying roles, unpacking concerns, and embracing an iterative mindset, professionals can better manage stress and drive positive change.

    Episode Sources:  

    Adrienne Palmer Lloyd

    Connect with Adrienne on LinkedIn

    Adrienne’s Services & More 

    Stephanie Mercado

    Connect with Stephanie on LinkedIn

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    Ryan Reaves

    Written By

    Ryan Reaves

    Ryan Reaves is content coordinator at MGMA. He is a seasoned content professional with a background in both community journalism and sports apparel eCommerce. Ryan is skilled in proofreading, image editing, and writing online content in a fast-paced environment. At MGMA, Ryan develops and edits content for books, podcasts and consulting.

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