The Northwest Patient Safety Conference is presented annually by the Washington Patient Safety Coalition. The only event of its kind in the Western United States, it brings innovative, stimulating, and challenging ideas to a broad audience. Presentations and discussions will be of interest to patients and family members, providers from all settings, and others interested in and responsible for patient safety.


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Scroll through the gallery to view some highlights of the most recent conference.



Scherer Picture

We were pleased to announce our keynote speaker for the 2016 Northwest Patient Safety Conference, John Scherer.

As a former Combat Officer on a US Navy Destroyer, Lutheran Chaplain at Cornell University, Gestalt and Family Systems Therapist, Graduate School co-creator, author, successful consultant and entrepreneur, John brings a unique perspective to his life and work. Business and community leaders from 23 nations have graduated from his Executive and Leadership Development Intensives.

John was Co-developer of The People Performance Profile, the first holistic, computer-scored diagnostic process for improving organizational effectiveness. His Breakthrough Series was the first video-based resource for high-performance team-development, designed to be used at regular meetings.

Skolnik HeadShot Smaller

We were pleased to introduce our plenary speaker, Patty Skolnik. Driven by harrowing real-life experience, Patty Skolnik is a patient safety educator and an advocate for Shared Decision-Making, Informed Consent, Dignity for the Patient and Provider and Patient and Provider Relationships in healthcare. She founded Citizens for Patient Safety to promote those conversations in healthcare settings that are proven to reduce medical harm. Patty travels worldwide to educate consumers, train medical professionals, and advise lawmakers. Having lost her only son Michael to poor and lacking communication, Ms. Skolnik promised him that she would make the medical profession better than he had found it – her work through Citizens for Patient Safety is that promise in action.

Ms. Skolnik sits on the National Advisory Council for AHRQ, on the Board of Advisors for the National Patient Safety Foundation, the National Quality & Patient Advisory Council for MedStar Health System, the Consumers Union Safe Patient Project and the Board of Directors for the Patient Voice Institute.


The conference agenda also included a two-hour workshop on shared decision making (SDM), a key pathway to safe, patient-centered care. Diana Stilwell,  Vice President of Shared Decision Making Solution Strategy at Healthwise,  and Dr. Larry Morrisey of Central Pediatrics illustrated the connection between SDM and patient safety. They focused on how this strategy can help you deliver the right care to the right patient at the right time. Attendees also gained some pragmatic tools to help them put SDM in action in their own practice. Whether attendees were new to shared decision making or were already looking to implement this strategy, they were given the chance to gain invaluable knowledge about the importance of engaging patients in an SDM experience and how to make SDM a reality in their organizations. CLICK HERE  FOR FULL AGENDA


WPSC Member: $275 Non-Member: $450

A special rate of $175 is available for qualifying Students, Poster Presenters and Family/Patient Representatives. Please contact us for details.



2015 CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS 2015-Conference-Highlights

The 13th Northwest Patient Safety Conference was held on May 13, 2015 and was attended by over 200 individuals from across the region.

Our 13th regional conference addressed critical patient safety themes, including meaningful engagement of patients and families in their care, and improving communication between health care providers. Presentations by nationally-recognized speakers, breakout discussions in workshop formats, high-intensity presentations and discussions, a poster session, and networking opportunities – all of these provided a full-day event and tools and methods that could be quickly put to use in participants’ care settings.



• “Great job- this was an excellent conference. I am happy I had the opportunity to attend. I am inspired!”

“One of the best! This has been a stimulating day from keynote to breakout to posters.”

• “I plan to discuss the information with my colleagues to use region-wide”

• “Thank you for providing this annual opportunity for learning and networking.”

• “ I plan to apply PFAC model and improve PFAC. Also use new communication strategies for ALL hospital staff.”

• “ I will push to have patient advocate/ representative in the RCA process.”

• “The high intensity talks were very stimulating and thought providing.”

• “ I liked the intense sessions with discussion at the table. Very good exchange of ideas.”

• “ Best conference ever- great speakers!”

• “Great poster viewing- made some great connections to enhance my work.”


Wyatt Picture Our keynote speaker was Ronald Wyatt, MD, MHA, medical director in the Division of Healthcare Improvement at The     Joint Commission.

Dr. Wyatt promotes quality improvement and patient safety to internal and external audiences, works to influence public policy and legislation for patient safety improvements, and serves as the lead patient safety information and education resource within The Joint Commission. Dr. Wyatt collaborates in the development of National Patient Safety Goals, and oversees data management and analyses related to the Sentinel Event database.

Dr. Wyatt actively presents on a variety of patient safety topics throughout the US and Canada. He has written and published numerous articles on patient safety topics.

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Our plenary speaker was Tiffany Christensen,  who speaks from the perspective of a life-long patient and a professional patient advocate. She is a TeamSTEPPS Master Trainer, a Respecting Choices Advance Care Planning Instructor, an APPEAL certificate recipient, and the creator of her own Train the Trainer workshop series entitled “Finding Your Voice in the Healthcare Maze.”

Christensen is a nationally recognized public speaker and the author of three books exploring advocacy, end of life planning and partnership strategies in healthcare. She is a board member of the Beryl Institute for improving the patient experience and is faculty for the Patient Safety Officer Training at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

Christensen worked as the Program Coordinator for Duke Medicine’s Patient Advisory Council Expansion Program in which she was responsible for design and implementation of a standardized PFAC model and training. Christensen succeeded in implementing this model in many clinical specialty areas, the Emergency Department, Hospice and two community hospitals. During this time, Tiffany was also patient advocate at Duke Hospital working primarily in the area of Oncology.

Currently, Tiffany is the Performance Improvement Specialist at the North Carolina Quality Center, working on operationalizing PFE across North Carolina. You can visit Tiffany’s website at or follow her latest adventures on the new blog

Selected Past Conference Materials

Sponsorship Opportunities are now available for our 2016 Conference. Click here for an application.


Benefits Include:


  • a complementary exhibition table
  • visibility of your organization’s logo throughout Conference materials
  • opportunity to showcase your organization’s commitment to patient safety


Many thanks to our generous Sponsors, Supporters, Friends, and Exhibitors for 2016:

Gold Sponsor:




Silver Sponsor:





Bronze Sponsors: