Nursing Notes

May 21, 2010

Quality Safety Investigator program empowers nurses

Here is an article about involving the bedside nurse in improving patient safety.  While I applaud this effort, I believe that it has always been the bedside nurse who worried and addressed patient safety on the unit.  We have always been responsible for managing patient care to prevent falls, slips, errors in treatment, etc.  So, while this program is great, I am not clear on how this is new.

Maybe I simply am not seeing the bigger picture, so I am keeping an open mind and am willing to entertain differing viewpoints.  The information at Health Leaders Media is always timely and informative.  I frequently come away with a new understanding of a current problem in nursing simply by seeing that problem viewed from another stance.

I highly recommend this site to all nurses.


The University of Kansas Hospital (KUMED) has created a program to encourage nurse involvement in patient safety. Called the Quality Safety Investigators (QSI), nurses in the program are bedside caregivers who are given tools, resources, and training by KUMED to focus on unit-specific initiatives.

I heard of the QSI program during an interview for an article about the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program® (MRP). I spoke with Liz Carlton, RN, MSN, CCRN, director of quality, safety, and regulatory compliance at KUMED who also had a hand in creating the QSI program. She extolled the virtues of giving staff nurses the power and responsibility of being in charge of improvement projects, and also the benefits of being in a type of membership group at the organization.

Those nurses who are interested in becoming QSIs go through an application process and once they are selected, their managers must also sign contracts stating that they will allow the QSIs to participate in activities away from the unit because of their QSI status.

To read more, see the full article published with HealthLeaders Media.

Does your facility have any type of nursing empowerment group, like the QSI program? If so, do you think it is of benefit to both the facility and the nurses who are a part of it?

About the Author: Heather Comak is a Managing Editor at HCPro, Inc., where she is the editor of the monthly publication Briefings on Patient Safety, as well as patient safety-related books, webcasts, and audio conferences. She is also is the Assistant Director of the Association for Healthcare Accreditation Professionals ( and manages Patient Safety Monitor (, of which this blog is a part. Contact Heather by e-mailing

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