CHICAGO (March 15, 2022) – Today, the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ), the only organization dedicated to healthcare quality professionals, announced its partnership with the founders of the United States branch of Patients For Patient Safety (PFPS US), an international network of patient and family representatives established by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2004, to actively support implementation of the WHO Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021-2030 (GPSAP) toward eliminating avoidable harm in healthcare. This partnership will further the mission of NAHQ to advance quality by reducing variability in care delivery and driving value through improved outcomes.

Preventable harm in the healthcare system is an urgent public health challenge, internationally and in the United States. Researchers estimate that medication errors, preventable infections, venous thromboembolism, falls in hospitals and other preventable harms take the lives of over 400,000 Americans annually.

NAHQ has committed to advancing the fifth strategic objective of the new GPSAP, “Inspire, educate, skill and protect health workers to contribute to the design and delivery of safe care systems.” In committing to this goal, NAHQ will work to improve issues surrounding:

  • Adoption of standardized non-clinical healthcare quality and safety competencies
  • Supporting healthcare organizations as they are increasingly held accountable for quality and safety competencies of their workforce
  • Demonstrating that efforts to improve patient safety and workforce safety/burnout lead to stronger outcomes
  • Sustainable solutions to incorporate quality and safety into organizational strategies
  • Accessible academic pathways for full-time careers in quality and safety

“We’re excited that workforce is back on the agenda and that the WHO recognizes that sustainable systems need sustainable workforces,” said Stephanie Mercado, chief exectuive officer and executive director of NAHQ. “Quality can’t wait and this collaboration with PFPS US will allow us to get vital safety and quality competencies into the hands of the people who will use them. We’re ready to address many of the urgent needs and priorities laid out in this objective to help move this critical work forward.”

“PFPS US looks forward to partnering with NAHQ on improving safety and quality for all individuals. Patient safety has drifted and in some instances, disappeared from national agendas. As a patient activist organization, we are excited to see leaders, like Stephanie Mercado, and NAHQ open to collaborating with the Stakeholder groups PFPS US is convening,” said Carole Hemmelgarn, co-founder of PFPS US.

In May 2021, the GPSAP was adopted, outlining seven strategic objectives. The action plan calls upon governments, healthcare leaders, patients and families, and other stakeholders, such as NAHQ to work together to achieve these goals. The objectives include:

  1. Develop governmental policies to eliminate avoidable harm in healthcare
  2. Embed high-reliability safety systems in healthcare organizations that protect both patients and the healthcare workforce
  3. Ensure adoption of and accountability for following safe clinical processes
  4. Engage patient and family members as partners in co-producing policies and solutions
  5. Invest in health worker education and skills building that prioritize patient safety
  6. Advance continued innovation in information use, research and risk management
  7. Work together synergistically in partnership and solidarity towards reducing all preventable harm in healthcare

About NAHQ

The National Association for Healthcare Quality® (NAHQ) is the only organization dedicated to healthcare quality professionals, defining the standard of excellence for the profession, and equipping professionals and organizations across the continuum of healthcare to meet these standards. NAHQ believes that to reduce variability in healthcare delivery, we must first reduce variability in healthcare quality competencies, so we focus our efforts on healthcare quality competencies and workforce development. NAHQ published the first and only Healthcare Quality Competency Framework and validated it twice in the market. We offer the only accredited certification in healthcare quality, the Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality® (CPHQ), extensive educational programming, networking opportunities and career resources to help healthcare quality professionals enhance their competencies and their value. Learn more at


Patients for Patient Safety US (PFPS US) is a network of people and organizations aligned with the World Health Organization (WHO) and focused on making healthcare safe in the United States. Led by people who have experienced medical error as a patient or in our families, we are activated to advance the Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021-2030 approved by the World Health Assembly in May 2021. Learn more at

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Kenzy Kundrat
G&S Business Communications

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