College of Management and Human Service

Muskie School researcher among first in nation to receive new patient safety credential

Judy Tupper at Patient Safety Academy

Judith Tupper, researcher and managing director of the population health and health policy program at the University of Southern Maine Muskie School of Public Service, is among the first in the nation- and one of only two individuals in the state of Maine- to earn the new Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS) credential.

Launched this spring by the Certification Board for Professionals in Patient Safety, the CPPS credentialing process establishes core standards for the field of patient safety and elevates the stature of health care professionals who meet knowledge requirements in the areas of patient safety science, human factors engineering, and the practice of safe care.

Candidates for certification come from across the health care spectrum, including public health experts, health care clinicians or workers, and executives. Certification requires a combination of education and experience, as well as the successful completion of an exam on six core patient safety areas: culture; leadership; risk identification and analysis; data management system design; mitigating risk through systems thinking and design and human factors analysis; and external influences on patient safety.

“This certification really recognizes the expertise that Ms. Tupper brings to the Muskie School’s education and research programs around the critical problems of patient safety and quality improvement,” said Dr. Andrew Coburn, chair of the USM master of public health program and director of the school’s population health and health policy research program.

Tupper has been active in patient safety research and demonstration activities throughout the past decade. She played a key role, along with colleagues in the Muskie School’s Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy, in such national projects as the Tennessee Rural Hospital Patient Safety Demonstration, which received the Rural Health Quality Award from the National Rural Health Association, and the Medication Safety Improvement Project, which received the President’s Award from the New England Rural Health Roundtable.

Additionally, Tupper has facilitated the Maine Critical Access Hospital (CAH) Patient Safety Collaborative since 2008. In this role, she directs the annual Patient Safety Academy, a day-long conference designed for health care professionals to engage in presentations, workshops, and skill-building activities intended to advance patient safety throughout Maine and the region.

The 2012 Patient Safety Academy will be held on September 7 at the Abromson Center on the University of Southern Maine’s Portland campus. FMI: