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CUSP Implementation Training

The Armstrong Institute offers several interactive training opportunities—a one-day workshop, online learning, and a remote coaching program—to help participants to launch and sustain effective Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP) teams.

Created by Johns Hopkins patient safety researchers, CUSP aims to improve patient safety culture while providing frontline caregivers with the tools and support that they need to tackle the hazards that threaten their patients.

CUSP has been used to target a wide range of problems: patient falls, hospital-acquired infections, medication administration errors, communication breakdowns and many others. It has been a linchpin of many large-scale patient safety improvement efforts across the United States and internationally.

Our CUSP Training Program

Participants have two options for CUSP training. The first option is a comprehensive program including a one-day workshop, online modules and remote coaching. The second contains the online modules only. Please see our cancellation and refund policy.

Option One: Comprehensive CUSP Training

workshop game

One-day Workshop

Application of CUSP, our one-day workshop uses an innovative game to simulate the experience of preparing a CUSP unit, launching it, and sustaining an effective, engaged team over many months. Working in groups, learners devise solutions to common barriers, develop a firsthand understanding of the roles of different CUSP team members, and learn from the experiences of other teams. Before the workshop, participants must complete nine online modules that provide fundamental CUSP concepts.

screenshot of online module

Online Modules

Nine online modules provide a strong grounding in the knowledge and problem-solving skills you need to develop and sustain an effective CUSP team. Participants learn fundamental CUSP concepts and then apply those concepts in realistic scenarios. This self-paced program can be taken at any time on its own. Successful completion of these modules is required for the one-day workshop or to participate in a CUSP Cohort.

doctors collaborating

CUSP Cohorts

This coaching and support program consists of nine live webinars over one year. These events guide teams as they confront common challenges and help them to learn from each one another. Cohorts follow the CUSP Phaseline, a roadmap that lays out the steps needed for a self-sufficient CUSP team. A new cohort begins roughly every three months. To participate, individuals must complete the Foundations of CUSP online modules before the cohort start date.

January 8, 2019

Workshop Registration

April 16, 2019

Workshop Registration


$1,245 per participant. Group discounts of 20 percent off are available when you register three or more people at a time. Workshop registration includes instructional materials, breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack.

JHM Employees: Request a seat


Option Two: Online Modules Only

Take the same online modules as option one which includes:

  • Why Choose a CUSP Approach
  • Safe Design Principles
  • Patient Safety Culture
  • Assembling a CUSP Team
  • Change Management 101
  • Pre-CUSP Work
  • CUSP Implementation Basics
  • Learning from Defects
  • Sustaining a CUSP Team

Registration: Online Modules
$300 per participant.

JHM Employees: Register through myLearning

The CUSP Workshop Game | A Journey to Patient Safety

An Armstrong Institute workshop uses an innovative board game to simulate the experience of preparing, launching and sustaining a Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP) team.​


Learning Objectives

  • Identify actions and use tools associated with three phases of CUSP: pre-CUSP work, CUSP implementation, and sustaining CUSP.
  • Develop a plan to assess and improve patient safety culture in your unit or work setting.
  • Assess teamwork & communication challenges that might impact patient safety efforts in your unit or work setting & develop a strategy to overcome them.
  • Generate strategies to combine technical and adaptive work as you establish and sustain a CUSP team in your unit or work setting.
  • Use the four questions that form the framework of the Learning from Defects tool to develop and sustain an improvement effort.
  • Connect your CUSP team’s work to organizational strategies through partnership with a senior executive.

Who Should Participate

Patient safety officers, medical directors, administrators, unit-based safety champions, frontline staff, nurses, individuals moving into a safety oversight role, quality improvement professionals and risk managers. We encourage participants to come as groups.

Program Facilitators

Melinda Sawyer, M.S.N., R.N., C.N.S.-B.C.
Assistant Director of Patient Safety

Cheryl Connors, M.H.S.
Quality and Innovation Coach

Paula Kent, M.S.N., M.B.A., R.N.
Patient Safety Specialist

Lori Paine, R.N., M.S.
Director of Patient Safety

Amy Plotts, M.S.N., R.N.
Assistant Director of Patient Safety


Constellation Energy Building
750 E. Pratt St., 4th Floor Conference Center
Baltimore, MD 21202
8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Get details on parking, hotels and attractions in Baltimore.

On-Site Programs

In addition to holding regularly scheduled workshops in Baltimore, we can bring this training to your facility. Email or call us at 410-637-7168 for details.


Email or call 410-637-7170.

Joint Accreditation Statement

joint accreditation logo

In support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by the Postgraduate Institute for Medicine and Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality. Postgraduate Institute for Medicine is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Continuing Nursing Education

The maximum number of hours awarded for this Continuing Nursing Education activity is 5.0 contact hours.

Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest

Postgraduate Institute for Medicine (PIM) requires instructors, planners, managers, and other individuals who are in a position to control the content of this activity to disclose any real or apparent conflict of interest (COI) they may have as related to the content of this activity. All identified COI are thoroughly vetted and resolved according to PIM policy. PIM is committed to providing its learners with high quality activities and related materials that promote improvements or quality in healthcare and not a specific proprietary business interest of a commercial interest.


The faculty members have nothing to disclose.

Planners and Managers

The PIM planners and managers have nothing to disclose. The Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality planners and managers have nothing to disclose.

Method of Participation and Request for Credit

Upon successfully completing the post-test with a score of 75% or better and the activity evaluation, your certificate will be made available immediately.



Computer System Requirements

Standard PC or Apple devices

Disclosure of Unlabeled Use

This educational activity may contain discussion of published and/or investigational uses of agents that are not indicated by the FDA. The planners of this activity do not recommend the use of any agent outside of the labeled indications. The opinions expressed in the educational activity are those of the faculty and do not necessarily represent the views of the planners. Please refer to the official prescribing information for each product for discussion of approved indications, contraindications, and warnings.


Participants have an implied responsibility to use the newly acquired information to enhance patient outcomes and their own professional development. The information presented in this activity is not meant to serve as a guideline for patient management. Any procedures, medications, or other courses of diagnosis or treatment discussed or suggested in this activity should not be used by clinicians without evaluation of their patient's conditions and possible contraindications and/or dangers in use, review of any applicable manufacturer's product information, and comparison with recommendations of other authorities.

“Thank you for providing such an incredible day of learning. It was great to practice what we learned in the modules. I have never been in such a learning environment before, and this indeed was a fun-filled experience. It was a very creative and innovative way of teaching—clearly ‘thinking outside the box.’ I couldn't have asked for anything better.” - Sherly Binu, Clinical Outcomes Analyst, The Johns Hopkins Hospital