Safety and Quality in Healthcare

December 29, 2016   |  Tags: Blog   |  Tags: Training , Quality & Safety
Susan B Stillwell DNP, RN, CNE, FAAN, ANEF

Eliminating preventable patient harm continues to be the siren song in the health care industry.  Finding ways to reduce harm across the industry has been met with varying degrees of success. To achieve robust improvement in preventable harm, Marshall, Pronovost and Dixon-Woods (2013) describe the need for an integrative improvement science program of learning. Beginning the Fall 2017, the University of Portland Graduate School is offering such a program of study. The Quality & Safety, Master’s Degree offers front-line health care industry practitioners the opportunity for academic studies focused on becoming more reliant and resourceful problem-solving leaders. The program curriculum focuses on learning methods to creatively reframe the challenges in quality and safety to achieve safe and optimal care.

Creating is a broader way of thinking than synthesis and evaluation. The revised cognitive domain in Bloom’s classification system of learning places creating at the top of the hierarchically structure (Krathwohl & Anderson, 2010). The University of Portland program of study is focused on joining together knowledge strategies from divergent disciplines to create solutions for quality and safety problems with sustainable change. The course work focus on acquainting students with relevant information from a variety of disciplines to help practitioners think about new ways to break-through barriers to address recurrent problems.

The program is designed to prepare health professionals in hospitals, clinics and other health related industry to lead and initiate new initiatives in patient quality and safety balancing the cost-quality equation. The curriculum emphasizes creating new strategies to achieve sustainable quality and safety in healthcare through combining the knowledge from a variety of academic sectors to improve outcomes. The course work includes the study of improvement, change, business, data analytics, informatics and technology. Graduates of the program will be prepared to use a diverse framework in practice, to improve outcomes by creating and leading initiatives based on the evidence in the science from a variety of disciplines.

Questions? Please contact Becca Fischer at

Susan B. Stillwell, a fellow in the NLN Academy of Nursing Education and in the American Academy of Nursing, is Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Graduate Education at University of Portland, School of Nursing. Previously, she was assistant director of the Center for the Advancement of Evidence-based Practice at College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Arizona State University. Dr. Stillwell is an Expert EBP Mentor who has presented on evidence-based practice nationally and internationally, founded the first EBP Mentorship Program for Nurse Educators, and has authored and co-authored a number of publications on the evidence-based practice paradigm and innovative teaching strategies to integrate evidence-based practice across the curriculum. Dr. Stillwell is an NLN certified nurse educator and recipient of several teaching and faculty excellence awards.