Nursing school offers MOOC on improving healthcare quality

Gabrielle Buffington, Staff Reporter

The Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing is offering its first massive open online course (MOOC) this fall, urging health care professionals to “Take the Lead on Healthcare Quality Improvement,” as the course title states. It will be a five week course focusing on how frontline healthcare workers can improve the ways that they take care of their patients.

The course is led by Dr. Mary A. Dolansky, an associate professor at the School of Nursing and a Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Quality Senior Nurse Fellow. Dolansky has taught the interdisciplinary course “Continual Improvement in Healthcare” at Case Western Reserve University for the past 10 years, and was the chair of a task force that aimed to integrate quality and safety into the School of Nursing curriculum.

“There really isn’t a lot out there for frontline health care professionals to learn their skills for free,” said Dolansky. “The founders of the course thought that it would be a great idea to offer it. The course is really experimental, and it takes the learner through the whole quality improvement process.”

Students will learn a number of ways to improve healthcare quality for patients, and then apply it right away to either a personal or professional project. They will write reflective statements on their experiences in the real-world setting as a part of the requirements for the course.

Dolansky hopes that this will help health care workers learn how to find suitable solutions when they are at a loss on how to properly care for patients.

“It’s about the front line being engaged, and turning their frustration into something constructive,” said Dolansky.

Shirley Moore of the School of Nursing and Mamta Singh of the School of Medicine are helping Dolansky teach the course, which will be available for free on Coursera. The course is one of five MOOCs that CWRU is currently offering.