CUSP Services

About the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP)

CUSP is a structured strategic framework for safety improvement that integrates communication, teamwork, and leadership to create and support a culture of patient safety that can prevent harms. The program features: evidence-based safety practices, staff training tools, standards for consistently measuring infection rates, engagement of leadership, and tools to improve teamwork among doctors, nurses, and other members of the health care team. CUSP was developed by Johns Hopkins Hospital that has been a leader in patient safety implementation in the nation.



  • A six-month course designed to assist hospitals in implementing the CUSP to prime teams for success in clinical safety improvement projects.
  • The course is appropriate for large and small facilities, and any department within a healthcare facility due to its flexibility and the benefits of learning CUSP essentials without having to fully commit to a specific clinical improvement project.
  • The course guides participants through the process of creating a unit or department-based CUSP Team, evaluating the patient safety culture, educating staff on the science of safety, and identifying and solving defects.
  • The course provides insights to teams about how the elements of CUSP are essential to laying the groundwork for successful clinical and other improvement projects.
  • The course's target audience is front-line managers and bedside caregivers who will lead or be a member of unit-based CUSP teams to improve teamwork and communication on their respective unit.
  • An optional second 6-month course, CUSP Communication & Teamwork Tools, is designed to assist established CUSP teams in implementing what was learned in the Basics of CUSP customized to meet the needs of the client, including any or all of the following: multidisciplinary rounds, daily goals, structured huddles, and other communication and teamwork processes.
  • Series of six monthly webinars and teleconferences for each course, Basics of CUSP and CUSP Communication & Teamwork Tools.
  • Curriculum for the Basics of CUSP course designed around the essential elements of CUSP, beginning with an overview and progressing through learning from defects.
  • Curriculum for the six-month course, CUSP Communication & Teamwork Tools provides further learning and practice in using communication and teamwork tools learned in the Basics of CUSP course.
  • Pre-session activity and post-session follow-up to monitor team progress, integrate feedback into course content, and ensure active engagement of participants.
  • Administration of the Survey on Patient Safety (SOPS) by the Center for Patient Safety. OPTION: Analysis and integration of SOPS results for facilities that have already administered the SOPS.

(subject to change based on client needs)
MONTH ONE - Overview of CUSP
Forming a CUSP team
Executive engagement
Science of Safety Education

MONTH TWO - Staff Safety Assessment
Measuring Unit Culture

MONTH THREE - Learning from a Defect, Part 1
Tips on achieving 60% response rate on SOPS
Prioritizing defects
Example defects

MONTH FOUR - Learning from a Defect, Part
Sharing results of SSA
Learning from Defects (LFD) tool
Case Summary tool

MONTH FIVE - Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Results Analysis
How to interpret the SOPS results
Action planning based on results

MONTH SIX - Introduction to CUSP Team Tools
(Customized for Client Needs)

OPTIONAL MONTHS: SEVEN TO TWELVE - CUSP Communication & Teamwork Tools


Previous initiatives include:

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The Center for Patient Safety believes that collaboration and sharing are the best ways to drive improvement. We strive to provide the right solutions and resources to improve healthcare safety and quality.