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1,000 Strong: A Milestone for Certified Professionals in Patient Safety

Thursday, October 29, 2015   (0 Comments)
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Certification Board Marks Growth of CPPS Credentialing Program 


Boston, MA (October 29, 2015) — The number of health professionals holding the Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS) credential reached 1,000 this month, reports the Certification Board for Professionals in Patient Safety, which oversees the certification program.

“It is gratifying to know so many health professionals have made the commitment to put their skill and knowledge of patient safety science to the test,” said Tejal K. Gandhi, MD, MPH, CPPS, president of certification board and president and CEO of the National Patient Safety Foundation, the board’s parent organization. “We envision a health system where many more physicians, nurses, pharmacists, safety and risk management professionals, leaders, and others will also demonstrate their competence in this important discipline.”

Introduced during Patient Safety Awareness Week 2012, the CPPS credential was developed to establish patient safety competency standards and elevate the professional stature of those who meet knowledge requirements in safety science, human factors engineering, and the practice of safe care.

The CPPS examination is the only evidence-based, multidisciplinary examination developed to assess competency in patient safety. Individuals from across the health care spectrum may sit for the examination providing they possess a baseline combination of education, experience, and a commitment to improving the safety of patient care.

“Whether the patient safety expert is at the bedside, teaching, performing research, or serving in administration, the underlying patient safety concepts are the same,” said Kathryn Rapala, DNP, JD, RN, CPPS, who chairs the certification board’s Expert Oversight Committee. “The CPPS credential sets the standards by which these diverse patient safety professionals can apply patient safety practices and theories.”

Who are the 1,000 Certified Professionals in Patient Safety? They are nurses, pharmacists, physicians, and other health care professionals.

  • They work in 9 countries around the world, mostly for hospitals and health systems. (See the list of certified professionals by state on the website.)
  • In the U.S., they work in 49 states and the District of Columbia.
  • 60% have a degree or background in nursing.
  • 30% describe their primary responsibility as patient safety.
  • 27% describe their area of focus as health care quality improvement.
  • 13% include risk management in their primary professional responsibilities.

Also this month, in meeting the expectation that all health disciplines remain current, the Certification Board introduced a new certification examination. Developed by the Expert Oversight Committee, the examination focuses on five key areas identified by a nationwide survey of the field conducted earlier this year:

  • Culture
  • Leadership
  • Patient Safety Risks and Solutions
  • Measuring and Improving Performance
  • Systems Thinking and Design/Human Factors

To learn more about the Certified Professional in Patient Safety credential, visit

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