• acute;
  • patient safety;
  • practice settings/focus;
  • quality improvement


Carol Wagner, RN, MBA is the Vice President for Patient Safety at the Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA). She is recognized nationally as an innovative patient safety leader. She led the development of WSHA's Patient Safety Program and Rural Healthcare Quality Network. Under Carol's leadership, the WSHA received the 2010 John Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award for national innovation given by The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum. The association also received the 2011 Dick Davidson Award for Allied Association Leadership. These national awards are two of the highest honors an organization can receive for patient safety and quality. Through close working relationships with national and state regulatory bodies and professional organizations, Carol designs programs to improve quality and safety in every hospital in Washington State. Under Carol's leadership, all hospitals in Washington participated in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's (IHI) 5 Million Lives Campaign. The effort led to implementation of the largest number of rapid response teams in a geographic area. Carol also created the first statewide learning collaborative to reduce hospital-acquired infections. Carol is a registered nurse with an MBA focusing on finance and operations. She worked clinically in a variety of settings, provided leadership as a nursing administrator, and transitioned to lead hospital strategic planning, budgeting, and cost accounting. She studied management and system change at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Her quality training was with Dr. W. Edwards Deming and at Intermountain Health Care with Dr. Brent James. Her experience includes work in for-profit and not-for-profit environments and supporting community, tertiary, and academic medical centers. This includes Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, California and a national for-profit hospital system with more than 100 hospitals.