Janet Brown’s amazing journey in the field of healthcare quality continues with this 30th Edition of The Healthcare Quality Handbook: A Professional Resource and Study Guide. After many years of battling cancer, Janet passed away on May 20, 2012. Janet was a trailblazer and a world leader in healthcare quality. We are grateful to her for the wealth of information consolildated in this Handbook, her tireless dedication to revise and produce it annually, her wise and cheerful instruction and inspiration, her optimism and leadership in the field, and her genuine friendship. She is remembered with love and appreciation.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Janet A. Brown, BA, BSN, RN, CPHQ, FNAHQ, was well-known as an author, educator, and consultant in healthcare quality. She was active in the field for more than 30 years and owned her own business, now JB Quality Solutions, Inc. She took the first offered certification exam in 1984. Then in 1985 she designed and held a half-day teaching session for 12 colleagues who all became certified. Her passionate interest in promoting certification and professional growth grew out of that first study group and a 50-page set of handouts. She subsequently taught about 110 healthcare quality Workshops and revised and improved the Healthcare Quality Handbook each year from 1986 to 2012. The Handbook has been a respected manual in the field, and has been used throughout the world.
She also worked as a consultant for 12 years with hospitals, ambulatory care centers, surgical centers, mental health facilities, review agencies, and managed care organizations in quality management, utilization and case management, clinical risk management, information management, strategic planning, and systems development.
In addition to the Handbook, Janet was co-author of Managing Managed Care: The Mental Health Practitioner's Survival Guide (first edition, 1992), Managing Managed Care II: A Handbook for Mental Health Professionals (second edition, 1996), and Casebook for Managing Managed Care: A Self-Study Guide for Treatment Planning, Documentation, and Communication, 2000, all published by American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.
Janet was a President (1995-1996) and Fellow of the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ) and served on NAHQ's Past Presidents' Council. She was the founding chair of NAHQ's National Healthcare Quality Foundation. She received NAHQ's Distinguished Member Award in 1991.
From 1996 to 2004, Janet served on the Technical Advisory Committee for L.A. Care Health Plan, the Medicaid managed care health plan for Los Angeles County, with more than 700,000 members. She also served many years on the National Advisory Council for Fuller Graduate School of Psychology.
JB Quality Solutions, Inc. continues to produce and distribute The Healthcare Quality Handbook: A Professional Resource and Study Guide. The company is run by Janet’s family, who work closely with Susan Mellott, Ph.D., RN, CPHQ, FNAHQ, as the Editor and Course Instructor.
In Janet’s Own Words:
On July 23, 1995, my life changed dramatically. I sustained a spinal cord injury and incomplete quadriplegia in a car accident. I use a wheelchair and have movement of my arms, but limited use of my hands. I consider this Handbook to be a miracle. It has continued despite disability, chronic neurogenic pain and spasticity, multiple computer crashes, and cancer.
I share my cancer story in more detail here because you are quality professionals. In 1996 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I then experienced local recurrences in 2004 and 2006. I opted for surgery all three times, without chemotherapy (only 2-2.5% improved mortality) or radiation (preempted by the need to preserve my already minimal arm function).
In February 2009, I saw my eighth HMO oncologist (constant contract changes) with symptoms in my right arm. She told me the MRI and PET scan were both negative. Then in December of that year, I was diagnosed with three new tumors, with muscle involvement and nerves at risk. Surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy were not viable options.
Upon directly reviewing all 2009 test results, I learned the previous MRI and PET scans had both shown enhancement. My oncologist had missed the diagnosis months earlier. The cancer center had no electronic record or online access to test results. Their nonsystem allowed physicians to take isolated reports home to call patients, with no access to or requirement to review the medical record. She did not connect the dots between my history, my symptoms, and my test results.
In September 2011 cancer was found metastasized to several bones. In spite of circumstances, my hope and faith is in my Lord.
In my ongoing dealings with two IPAs, four different HMOs, and now Medicare, I have learned first hand—as a patient with the quality professional's eyes and ears—of our desperate need for a seamless continuum of care, care coordination and case management, electronic record and information sharing, and an effective quality strategy. Even so, I still believe that such a quality healthcare delivery system is achievable!
I cherish the history reflected in these pages, but I thrive on the growth, innovation, and, of course, improvement that represents the current environment and the future of quality in healthcare. Now this quality passion is passed on to you, my colleague. This is a wonderful time for the healthcare quality professional. Both the organization and the public are listening. Your organization will look to your expertise as it seeks to improve. Our patients certainly do deserve— and will benefit from—all of our best efforts.
God bless you and best wishes in your study!