Mercy’s Chief Medical Officer Earns Health Care Quality and Management Certification

October 27, 2015

David Hunton, MD, CHCQM

Mercy Fort Smith Chief Medical Officer David Hunton, MD recently received his Health Care Quality and Management (HCQM) certification from the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians, Inc. He is the first in Fort Smith and one of only 11 in Arkansas to receive this certification.

Those certified in HCQM have shown their commitment and specialized focus in quality care and patient safety. The certification verifies that Dr. Hunton has the education, experience and training in these key categories: transitions of care, case management, patient safety/risk management, managed care and workers’ compensation.

Hunton said when he took on the role of chief medical officer in 2012, Mercy Hospital President Ryan Gehrig asked he focus on quality and case management in his new position. Hunton said he thought he needed formal training to do the job to the best of his ability so he began the process of earning his HCQM certification.

“For this certification I completed over 200 hours of quality management work and took a 20-hour continuing education course on quality management and patient safety,” Hunton said. “This process has really sparked my passion for improving patient care and making our hospital safer for our patients and their families.”

As a result of this training and education, Hunton said progress has been made at Mercy Fort Smith.

“We have reorganized our quality program and implemented a new physician performance and evaluation committee,” Hunton said. “These programs help our physicians improve their work, standardize processes and improve quality. Here at Mercy Fort Smith we have a strong group of physicians who are engaged and committed to quality care and patient safety. This certification will help me educate and lead them as we continue to make changes that positively impact our patients and their families.”

With this certification Hunton was also named an ABQAURP Diplomate. Diplomates are distinguished by their skills in analysis, review, case management and other areas of health care administration. Diplomates have a superior understanding of Accountable Care Organizations, transitions of care and how to navigate the health care world challenging current and future medical providers.

About American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians, Inc.

Established in 1977, ABQAURP is the nation's largest organization of interdisciplinary health care professionals. Through its ultimate goal to improve the quality of health care, ABQAURP is dedicated to providing health care education and certification for physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals.

For more information, visit or call 800-998-6030.

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