NQPSD Research

Quality and Patient Safety Research 

The HSE National Quality and Patient Safety Directorate (NQPSD) have championed, supported and participated in Quality and Patient Safety (QPS) research through a variety of mechanisms including:

  • Commissioning research on emerging QPS issues of national priorities (see table below)
  • The RCQPS, co-funded (with HRB) 21 projects between 2013 and 2021 totalling €4.5 million
  • Conducting and publishing in-house research and evaluations of our work
  • Funding a PhD scholarship on measurement for improvement knowledge and skills among healthcare staff
  • Applying for and receiving research grants to lead on QPS research projects
  • Collaborating and participating as knowledge users in a variety of research projects

NQPSD Funded Research Activity

Project Title


NQPSD Knowledge Users


Development of a national quality and patient safety competency framework

Dr Aoife de Brún & Dr Dimuthu Rathnayake

UCD Centre for Interdisciplinary Research, Education and Innovation in Health Systems (UCD IRIS Centre)

Dr Mary Browne

QPS Education Team

This research seeks to evaluate and identify QPS competencies (knowledge and skills) to inform the development of education and training for clinical and non-clinical staff working in quality and patient safety.

QPS competencies informed by principles of Health Economics 

Dr Siobhan McCarthy

Graduate School of Healthcare Management, RCSI

Prof Jan Sorensen

Healthcare Outcomes Centre, School of Population Health, RCSI

Dr James O’Mahony

Centre for Health Policy and Management, TCD

Dr Peter Lachman

Faculty Quality Improvement, RCPI

Dr Jennifer Martin

QPS Intelligence Team

Dr Mary Browne

QPS Education Team

The aim of this work is to identify and validate health economic competencies needed for QPS work. Through stakeholder engagement and QPS and Health economist expert feedback, this research will inform the development of the HSE QPS Competency Framework and produce online training modules.

Quality and Safety Signals – composite signal development

Prof Eilish McAuliffe & Dr. Thérѐse McDonnell

UCD Interdisciplinary Centre for Research Education and Innovation in Health Systems

Dr Jennifer Martin

QPS Intelligence Team

This two year research project seeks to develop a methodology which brings multiple data sources together to produce composite signals for quality and safety measurement and monitoring. The methodology will be designed and tested with the Working with the National Women’s and Infants Health Programme (NWIHP).

Learn more about the project here

Learning from incidents

Dr Sam Cromie

Centre for Innovative Human Systems, School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin

Lorraine Schwanberg

QPS Incident Management Team

The objective of the project is to help the HSE to understand the application and effectiveness of the different incident review tools, how the learning is extracted and applied and how it can be used to inform the wider HSE in terms of systematic shared learning.

Exploration of best practice in Human Factors Ergonomics implementation in healthcare

Dr Marie Ward

Centre for Innovative Human Systems at Trinity College Dublin &  Quality and Safety Improvement Directorate, St. James's Hospital

Dr Angela O’Dea

Human Factors and Simulation School of Medicine, University of Galway

Dr Mary Browne

QPS Education Team

This aim of this project is to gather baseline information to inform Human Factor and implementation in Irish Health. It will define best practice in HFE implementation; develop a framework for measuring best practice; map the current HFE implementation in Irish healthcare and develop guidance on what healthcare leaders need to know in relation to next steps


The measurement of patient experience in relation to Open Disclosure

Dr Aoife de Brún

UCD Centre for Interdisciplinary Research, Education and Innovation in Health Systems (UCD IRIS Centre)

Lorraine Schwanberg

QPS Incident Management &

Open Disclosure Team


This project aims to develop a Patient Experience Survey or other assessment tool to measure patient’s/relevant persons’ experience following the open disclosure process to be designed and implemented.




Dr Jennifer Martin, Clinical Lead Quality and Patient Safety Intelligence

Gráinne Cosgrove, Senior Statistician

Dr. Gemma Moore, Qualitative Evaluation and Research Officer

Emma Hogan, Senior Statistician

Dr. Marcella O’Dowd, QPS Analyst

Florina Rizoaica, QPS Analyst

Stephen Barrett, Administrator