Job Description

Job Title: Director, Patient Safety
Job ID: 51321975
Status: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Shift: Day Job
Facility: UPMC Susquehanna Williamsport
Department: QUALITY
Location: 700 High Street, Williamsport PA 17701


The Director, Patient Safety has the responsibility, accountability and strategic direction for the patient safety programs at UPMC and as such provides the leadership in supporting and developing a culture of safety and in identifying opportunities and initiatives to enhance patient safety. Along with the Chief Quality Officer and the Medical Director for Patient Safety, the Director develops strategic and operational plans that build upon the present patient safety programs to assure UPMC continues to be innovative and world renowned in its approaches to patient safety. In addition, the incumbent directly assists the Chief Quality Officer in overseeing all aspects of crisis events for UPMC. The Director is an integral component in implementing this visionary approach is to proactively address patient safety issues utilizing data, information from Patient Safety Committees, and other reports to analyze issues. Working collaboratively with the executive team for the Region, Hospital safety triads, medical and nursing staff to develop strategies to minimize incidents is of the utmost importance. Through collaboration and partnerships, the Director develops programs and services that produce measurable improvements in processes and practices that affect patient safety.

  • Provide the needed direction to ensure that clinical services are provided in accordance with safety standards established by federal and state regulatory agencies and the Joint Commission accreditation standards, including the National Patient Safety Goals.
  • Provide leadership in patient safety committees and be responsible for communicating vertically and horizontally to all constituents within UPMC and vertically within UPMC, as appropriate.
  • Initiate and oversee the development of a comprehensive patient safety improvement program inclusive of the analysis and trending of data related to hospital initiatives.
  • Assess external internal influences and proactively address if UPMC is vulnerable.
  • Provide consultative support to all UPMC regional entities in relation to crisis management; respond in absence of Chief Quality Officer for these crisis situations.
  • Monitor compliance to changes that were needed following a crisis or related incident.
  • Manage crisis from onset of incident to completion- to include system fact finding calls, documentation, communication and set up of call center if warranted and all related follow up.
  • Assure creation of communication plan if needed to meet identified needs, including media, patients, and employees.
  • Serve as Liaison to external reporting and regulatory agencies (FDA, CDC, ACHD, DOH) to streamline efforts to mitigate and/or investigate events and to ensure a united UPMC response. This is to include verbal and written responses.
  • Facilitate the assessment of impact to patients by collaborating with involved leaders and experts in the system.
  • Directs supervision of staff or large scale initiatives and or projects.
  • Exhibits knowledge of the fiscal implications of clinical outcomes.
  • Demonstrates strong leadership and project management skills by prioritizing and balancing multiple projects simultaneously
  • Leads change and provides oversight of project management.
  • Designs and uses measurement and analytics skills to identify areas of improvement.
  • Leads and engages teams across the organization and interact with all levels of executives.
  • Demonstrates expertise in PI/CQI and with methods such as lean, Toyota and/or Six Sigma.
  • Demonstrates expertise in regulatory/state/federal requirements for reporting.
  • Assigns support personnel for situations as needed.
  • Directs performance improvement activities related to crisis follow up.
  • Collaborate with and serve as a liaison to the UPMC Patient Safety Officers and Hospital Triads to implement system-wide patient safety measures.
  • Meet with the Hospital Triads at UPMC regional campuses as needed /requested and to keep them informed of patient safety priorities, initiatives and incidents. Developing an effective collaborative relationship is essential to maintaining patient safety as a high priority.
  • Review the current programs and developing clear expectations and recommending a process for analyzing trends, identifying root causes, and ultimately developing solutions to issues identified during the rounding process.
  • Remain fully informed of national and local patient safety mandates.
  • Prepare and administer operating budgets incorporating long and short-term goals and forecasting personnel, equipment and professional development needs. Managing and monitoring the expenditures to assure fiscal responsibility and accountability.
  • Proactively communicate with and educate leadership and staff regarding patient safety initiatives and activities.
  • Develop, review, and implement patient safety initiatives for the UPMC Region.
  • Serves on UPMC committees, especially ad-hoc committees established to improve patient safety/crisis management.
  • Standard Responsibilities: Performs in accordance with system-wide competencies/behaviors. Performs other duties as assigned.
  • Serves as the regional recall coordinator.
  • Ensure compliance with sentinel events, serious events, incidents and infrastructure failure reporting requirements mandated by law/regulatory bodies that meet the Pennsylvania Department of Health regulations, Joint Commission Hospital accreditation, Disease Specific Certification standards and CMS Conditions of Participation.
  • Direct and oversee the investigation of all reported serious events, incidents and infrastructure failures and take any necessary actions to ensure safety and quality issues identified through the investigation are carried out, reviewed and monitored for continued delivery of safe quality patient care, while remaining compliant with regulatory bodies.
  • Ensure timely disclosure of serious events to patients and/or families is carried out in accordance with organization policy and as mandated by law/regulatory bodies.
  • Serve as the internal consulting resources for regulatory while staying abreast of developments in the field.
  • Identify potential areas of patient safety and regulatory compliance vulnerabilities and risk, develop and implement corrective action plans for resolution of problematic issues, and provide guidance to leadership, medical staff and service partners on how to avoid or deal with similar situations in the future via proactive risk assessments.
  • Establishes and implements organizational patient safety guidelines. Leads/forms problem solving teams around improvement issues. Seeks resolution of problems and/or issues through team efforts when appropriate. Recommends changes to policies and procedures to senior leadership.
  • Demonstrates responsiveness to the changing priorities and targets in the field of patient safety initiatives. Provides knowledge in the ongoing growth of knowledge of patient safety fields.
  • Provides collaborative leadership on a consistent basis that smoothes the interface points within the complex matrix environment that includes UPMC, employed physicians, private practice, and the local initiatives.
  • Serve as the Regional Coordinator for the ECRI Recall Process.


  • Master's degree or completion of 2 years in a 4 years Bachelor's to PhD/DNP program required. 
  • Minimum of 7 years related healthcare experience and minimum of 5 years regulatory/patient safety.
  • Ability to establish and maintain positive, caring relationships with executives, managers, physicians, non-physician providers, ancillary and support staff, other departments, patients/families. 
  • Ability to work productively and effectively within a complex environment, handle multiple changing priorities and specialized equipment. 
  • Exemplary critical thinking, analytical and problem-solving abilities required as related to various aspects of patient care. 
  • Available 24x7 as needed for crisis situationsAbility to organize and define problems, develop strategies, and carry out action plans. 
  • Ability to communicate both verbally and in writing with all levels of the organization. 
  • Ability to manage and prioritize multiple projects/tasks simultaneously.

Licensure, Certifications, and Clearances:
Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS) Preferred

  • Act 33 with renewal
  • Act 34 with renewal
  • Act 73 FBI Clearance with renewal

  • UPMC is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Disability/Veteran

    Salary Range: $37.31 to $55.97 / hour

    Union Position: No

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