Patient Safety Associate

Duke University
Closing date
Oct 22, 2021

Job Details

Duke University Hospital is consistently rated as one of the best in the United States and is known around the world for its outstanding care and groundbreaking research. Duke University Hospital has 957 inpatient beds and offers comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic facilities, including a regional emergency/trauma center; a major surgery suite containing 51 operating rooms; an endo-surgery center; an Ambulatory Surgery Center with nine operating rooms and an extensive diagnostic and interventional radiology area. In fiscal year 2018, Duke University Hospital admitted 42,916 patients and had 1,085,740 outpatient visits in fiscal year 2017.

U.S News & World Report named Duke University Hospital #1 in North Carolina and #1 in the Raleigh-Durham area in 2018-19.

Duke University Hospital is ranked in the top 20 nationally for seven adult specialties, including cardiology and heart surgery, nephrology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, pulmonology, rheumatology, and urology.

In addition to its hospitals, Duke Health has an extensive, geographically dispersed network of outpatient facilities that include primary care offices, urgent care centers, multi-specialty clinics and outpatient surgery centers.

Duke Nursing Highlights:

  • Duke University Health System is designated as a Magnet® organization
  • Nurses from each hospital are consistently recognized each year as North Carolina’s Great 100 Nurses.
  • Duke University Health System was awarded the American Board of Nursing Specialties Award for Nursing Certification Advocacy for being strong advocates of specialty nursing certification.
  • Duke University Health System has 6000 + registered nurses
  • Quality of Life: Living in the Triangle!
  • Relocation Assistance!

Patient Safety Associate

Job Overview

Duke University Hospital (DUH) seeks a Patient Safety Associate to collaborate with the Executive Director and Patient Safety team to support implementation of patient safety science, practices and system-driven plans for patient safety across the organization. The Patient Safety Associate will be responsible for coordinating activities and

deployment of patient safety actions/methods with an assigned group of Clinical Service Units/business lines and intervening on safety events, risks or threats, as assigned. In addition, they will assist in support of organizational patient safety and quality initiatives, support and attend related committees, lead training and educational activities, and support the assessment and advancement of the culture of safety. The individual will assist in managing data, identifying trends and advocating for advancement of patient safety.

The Associate will primarily utilize a variety of proactive and retrospective patient safety tools and methods including, Root Cause Analysis, Learning from Defects, Failure Modes and Effects Analysis, human factors analysis, and trend and pattern recognition utilizing a variety of safety signals. In addition to strong, specialized patient safety and quality improvement knowledge, the Patient Safety Associate will need to demonstrate strong soft skills to be able to read the environment as well as build trust and collaborative relationships with team members across the organization.

Job Duties

Facilitates the implementation of the organization's patient safety plan in alignment with the Duke Health and Duke University Hospital objectives.

Collaborates with physician, nurse, and other clinical and non-clinical leaders, including quality and Lean champions, to influence leadership in the transformation to, and support of, a robust culture of safety.

Facilitates sentinel event response and ensures thorough and credible root cause analysis approach following standard methodology.

Conducts and coaches others in proactive analysis to identify trends and patterns or gaps in systems and processes related to all aspects of care delivery, patient and staff safety.

Promotes learning culture through multi-faceted system to share.

Contributes to development of patient safety, culture and teamwork training content, documents, materials, and courses. Provides training and coaching to all levels of the organization, including students and residents.

Serves as a facilitator and change agent with ability to navigate challenging situations and complex issues with an objective approach employing humble inquiry and leadership skills.

Practices skills of open-ended questioning, attentive listening, recognizing sound PDCA problem solving and A3 thinking in alignment with the Duke Quality System.

Coaches others and facilitates the development of action plans and mechanisms to monitor and analyze effectiveness of improvement efforts

Supports project management activities and/or works with project managers on project initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and closeout.

Performs other related duties, administrative or otherwise, incidental to the work described herein.

Preferred Qualification

Education: Master’s Degree Preferred

Experience: Minimum of 5 years clinical or healthcare work experience

Prior experience in patient safety and quality improvement is required.

Experience can be supplemented with Master's degree with a Masters being equivalent to two years of experience.

Nursing or other direct clinical care experience

Experience in hospital setting, ideally teaching hospital

Lean, Six Sigma or Performance Improvement experience

Project management experience

Degrees, Licensure, and/or certification: Certified Professional in-Patient Safety (CPPS) preferred or attained within 2 years of hire

TeamSTEPPs Master Trainer certification preferred but not required.

Experience and demonstrated skill with using the teaching method of asking questions for self-discovery

Strong facilitation skills

Clear and concise written and verbal communication skills

Expert knowledge of patient safety science, principles and tools as would be gained from certification from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (Certified Professional in-Patient Safety (CPPS)) and/or from the National Association for Healthcare Quality (Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ))

Ability to manage multiple projects

Change Management Skills: stakeholder analysis, communication plans, organizational readiness assessments

Project Management Skills: create project plans and manage multiple parallel deadlines, ability to identify roadblocks proactively and formulate mitigation plans

Required Minimum Qualifications at this Level

EducationBachelor’s degree in a business or health-related field is required.

ExperienceMinimum of 5 years work experience, including 3 years of experience with significant responsibility for performance/ process improvement. Experience leading work teams required.

Experience can be supplemented with Master's degree with a Masters being equivalent to two years of experience

Degrees, Licensure, and/or Certification


Knowledge, Skills, and AbilitiesEffective written and verbal communication skills

Ability to communicate with customers/staff with diverse educational backgrounds

Analysis of data and processes for opportunities for improvement

Ability to manage numerous diverse projects simultaneously through effective priority setting, efficient use of time, organization

Knowledge of accreditation standards and regulations related to health care

Attention to detail and accuracy

Computer literacy

Distinguishing Characteristics of this LevelN/A

Job Level: G2

Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

Essential Physical Job Functions: Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essential job functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.


Read our Diversity Profile History

Duke University was created in 1924 by James Buchanan Duke as a memorial to his father, Washington Duke. The Dukes, a Durham family that built a worldwide financial empire in the manufacture of tobacco products and developed electricity production in the Carolinas, long had been interested in Trinity College. Trinity traced its roots to 1838 in nearby Randolph County when local Methodist and Quaker communities opened Union Institute. The school, then named Trinity College, moved to Durham in 1892, where Benjamin Newton Duke served as a primary benefactor and link with the Duke family until his death in 1929. In December 1924, the provisions of indenture by Benjamin’s brother, James B. Duke, created the family philanthropic foundation, The Duke Endowment, which provided for the expansion of Trinity College into Duke University.Duke Campus

As a result of the Duke gift, Trinity underwent both physical and academic expansion. The original Durham campus became known as East Campus when it was rebuilt in stately Georgian architecture. West Campus, Gothic in style and dominated by the soaring 210-foot tower of Duke Chapel, opened in 1930. East Campus served as home of the Woman's College of Duke University until 1972, when the men's and women's undergraduate colleges merged. Both men and women undergraduates now enroll in either the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences or the Pratt School of Engineering. In 1995, East Campus became the home for all first-year students.

Duke maintains a historic affiliation with the United Methodist Church.

Home of the Blue Devils, Duke University has about 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students and a world-class faculty helping to expand the frontiers of knowledge. The university has a strong commitment to applying knowledge in service to society, both near its North Carolina campus and around the world.

Mission Statement

Duke Science"James B. Duke's founding Indenture of Duke University directed the members of the University to 'provide real leadership in the educational world' by choosing individuals of 'outstanding character, ability, and vision' to serve as its officers, trustees and faculty; by carefully selecting students of 'character, determination and application;' and by pursuing those areas of teaching and scholarship that would 'most help to develop our resources, increase our wisdom, and promote human happiness.'

“To these ends, the mission of Duke University is to provide a superior liberal education to undergraduate students, attending not only to their intellectual growth but also to their development as adults committed to high ethical standards and full participation as leaders in their communities; to prepare future members of the learned professions for lives of skilled and ethical service by providing excellent graduate and professional education; to advance the frontiers of knowledge and contribute boldly to the international community of scholarship; to promote an intellectual environment built on a commitment to free and open inquiry; to help those who suffer, cure disease, and promote health, through sophisticated medical research and thoughtful patient care; to provide wide ranging educational opportunities, on and beyond our campuses, for traditional students, active professionals and life-long learners using the power of information technologies; and to promote a deep appreciation for the range of human difference and potential, a sense of the obligations and rewards of citizenship, and a commitment to learning, freedom and truth.Duke Meeting

 “By pursuing these objectives with vision and integrity, Duke University seeks to engage the mind, elevate the spirit, and stimulate the best effort of all who are associated with the University; to contribute in diverse ways to the local community, the state, the nation and the world; and to attain and maintain a place of real leadership in all that we do.”

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