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How to Apply

Interested applicants should email their cover letter and CV to Cathy Emiline-Fegan at

Job Summary

The Patient Safety Officer (PSO), along with the Office of Patient Safety (OPS), supports and promotes the mission, vision and values of UMH through the prevention of harm to patients. The PSO partners with the Administrative Director of Patient Safety to maintain a structured, coordinated, and collaborative strategy to provide the safest possible patient care, using continuous process improvement and high reliability principles.  The PSO works in partnership with the Chief Quality Officer (CQO) to drive organizational change to enhance both patient safety and quality of care.  The PSO works collaboratively with senior leadership, clinical leaders and frontline staff to detect and prioritize opportunities for improvement in patient safety, implement principles of high reliability, encourage a robust system-wide safety culture and drive change to close safety gaps.


The PSO is responsible for the patient safety program in partnership with the Administrative Director of Patient Safety. Through supporting infrastructure, such as the OPS and the Patient Safety Committee, the patient safety program strives to prioritize and align patient safety activities across UMH, as well as to coordinate initiatives and opportunities for all individuals who work to improve safety in the organization.  


For external candidates, a 25% faculty appointment in the clinical specialty with a title commensurate to the candidates qualifications may be granted.


The activities of the PSO encompass the entirety of UMH, including University Hospital (UH)/Cardiovascular Center (CVC), Children & Women’s hospital (C&W), Ambulatory Services, clinical staff, support staff, and faculty.


Organizational Relationships


  • The PSO is appointed by and has a direct reporting relationship to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO).

  • The PSO works closely with the Patient Safety Administrator and the Patient Safety Event Review Team.

  • The PSO works collaboratively with numerous committees across the organization to improve patient safety (see below).

  • The PSO works collaboratively with Patient Relations and Clinical Risk to ensure the appropriate response to safety events and concerns that have both patient safety and risk management implications.

The PSO partners with segment leadership, clinical departments and divisions, business units, clinical system improvement teams, risk management to detect, prevent, and respond to patient harm.


  • Acts as system integrator for advancement of Patient Safety, partnering with Patient Safety leads and liaisons across UMH

  • Develops Patient Safety Program vision in alignment with national landscape and best practice

  • Share patient safety vision with partners across Michigan Medicine and seeks collaboration and momentum for improvements toward the vision

  • Partner with other major institutional culture initiatives to develop comprehensive plans with alignment in language and interventions

  • Prioritizes and informs the institution of system gaps and patient safety risks to inform decision making

  • Gives input into University of Michigan Health policies and procedures to enhance strength of patient safety interventions, processes, and improvements

  • Partners with CLER/ACGME, Medical School, and UMH for patient safety curriculum oversight

  • The PSO and Administrative Director of Patient Safety are key champions of the institutional High Reliability initiative (HRO).  The PSO and the Office of Patient Safety will assure alignment with HRO and the Patient Safety Program across the institution, partnering with leadership and clinical services as needed.

  • Develop and maintain a culture of patient safety

    • Develop Patient Safety Rounds program in partnership with existing rounding structures

    • Target at risk departments and roles to implement HRO principles as needed

  • Oversee the development of a comprehensive annual institutional Patient Safety Plan, in partnership with the Director of Patient Safety and the Patient Safety Committee

    • Use FMEA and other tools to proactively prevent patient harm, and partner with leadership to develop institutional patient safety goals, initiatives and programs

  • Oversee and optimize patient safety event review and response in partnership with Director of Patient Safety and Manager of Patient Safety Event Team (PSET)

    • Handle patient safety-related incidents in a timely and transparent manner, including immediate notification to institution as needed

    • Provide support to the Patient Safety Event Team

    • Collaborate with senior hospital leadership and Clinical Departments to facilitate patient safety improvements and implementation of resulting action plans

    • Facilitate improvement response by convening appropriate committees, personnel, or assigning task force oversight for implementation

  • Partners with other Quality Department. Patient Relations and Clinical Risk and Office of the CMO divisions to align and strengthen robust process improvement for the betterment of safety, including improvements in action plan implementation, data use, and change management principles

  • Develops relationships with Patient Safety Organization (PSO) and other relevant national or regional partners and represent UMH

  • Develop Patient Safety research capabilities in partnership with existing resources at UMH

  • Develop relationships with Safety Management Services in pursuit of improving employee safety

  • Enhance the Safety Reporting Program, in partnership with the RL Program Manager

    • Partner with GME program for House Officer reporting improvement

  • Support and enhance segment, department, and unit patient safety structures. Assist Executive Sponsors and local leaders involved in patient safety in appropriate event response.

  • Collaborate with the Director of Patient Safety, Quality Department and Accreditation leaders to coordinate the organizational response to regulatory standards related to patient safety, e.g., TJC National Patient Safety Goals

  • Develops and disseminates information to UMHS key leadership and operating units regarding patient safety strategies, issues and concerns

    • Regular reports to UMHS Leadership (UL) regarding patient safety themes, progress on the HRO initiatives, and ongoing challenges.

    • Regular reports to CMO

    • Ad hoc presentations to various groups/committees around HRO work and/or patient safety program

    • Assist with quarterly reports to UMHS Quality Subcommittee of the Board


  • Committee participation and leadership

    • Chair of the Patient Safety Committee (PSC).  Ensure appropriate membership and participation.

    • Chair of the Safety Event Review Committee (SERC). Ensure appropriate membership and participation. Facilitate PSET presentations and help overcome barriers.

    • Member, Executive Council for Clinical Affairs (ECCA); 1-2 presentations/year

    • Member, Clinical Care Review Committee

    • Member, Graduate Medical Education Committee; annual report and participation in CLER visits

    • Member, Clinical Quality Committee; 1-2 reports/year

    • Member, PSET Advisory Committee; Chair when Chief of Staff is unavailable

    • Ad hoc member of HRO workgroups, as needed

    • Ad hoc member of Multidisciplinary Event Review teams, as needed

Required Qualifications*

  • Eligible for a faculty appointment within University of Michigan Medical School.

  • Able to serve as an active member of the medical staff in respective specialty.

  • MD or DO degree with more than 5 years of experience practicing medicine.

  • Prior leadership responsibility with a proven track record of implementing change and patient safety improvements in a complex environment like an academic medical center

  • Strategy-oriented, outcome-focused and cross-functional leader with patient safety improvement, fiscal management and operations experience.

  • Displays insight and knowledge regarding challenges and pressures facing healthcare systems.

  • Demonstrated integrity and respect for others. Values teamwork and collaboration in interpersonal interactions.

  • Demonstrates excellent written and verbal communication skills.

  • Knowledge and experience in physician organizations including familiarity with patient safety and quality improvement

  • Demonstrated understanding and experience with principles of High Reliability Organizations

  • The ability to analyze complex problems, develop recommendations and solutions and cogently communicate them to multiple stakeholders.

Desired Qualifications*

  • Patient safety training and/or eligible for certification in patient safety

  • Published and active nationally relative to the responsibilities of this position.

  • Committed to maintaining a sense of the national landscape in patient quality and safety, and a willingness to share knowledge.

  • Possesses knowledge of management principles, practices and methods.

  • Evidence of being a lifelong learner with continuing professional self-development.

Background Screening

Michigan Medicine conducts background screening and pre-employment drug testing on job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent job offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background screenings.  Background screenings are performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Report Act. Pre-employment drug testing applies to all selected candidates, including new or additional faculty and staff appointments, as well as transfers from other U-M campuses.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  The review and selection process may begin as early as the eighth day after posting. This opening may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.


U-M COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

COVID-19 vaccinations are now required for all University of Michigan students, faculty and staff across all three campuses, including Michigan Medicine.  This includes those working or learning remotely.  More information on this policy is available on the Campus Blueprint website or the U-M Dearborn and U-M Flint websites.