Partner Profile: A Conversation with Barbara Rebold

December 18, 2020

December 18, 2020

The Health Care Improvement Foundation’s (HCIF) Partner Profiles highlight the efforts of valued and innovative health leaders. Our partners’ work supports HCIF’s vision for a responsive, coordinated health care community that fulfills the needs of patients and consumers to achieve better health.

In recognition of one of HCIF’s Partnership for Patient Care signature programs, Safe Table, that is continuing in 2021 with renewed funding, we are excited to feature our partner, Barbara G. Rebold, RN, BSN, MS, CPHQ, LSSYB, Director of Engagement and Improvement at ECRI.

Barbara G. Rebold, RN, BSN, MS, CPHQ, serves as co-lead and facilitator for HCIF’s Partnership for Patient Care (PPC) Safe Table program, which began in 2017. A unique program that focuses on regional collaboration, the PPC Safe Table is facilitated by ECRI Institute Patient Safety Organization and provides a legally protected environment for hospital Patient Safety Officers to discuss actual patient safety events and to share solutions and best practices. In an unprecedented year when many meetings had to be converted to a virtual format, Safe Table attendees expressed the high value of the program to themselves and their organizations as well as their continued engagement with the program. We are pleased to feature Ms. Rebold in recognition of the PPC Safe Table continuing in 2021 with representation from 12 hospitals in the Southeast PA region.

How did you become interested in quality improvement and/or patient safety? 

I became interested in quality improvement in the early 1980’s, during my first nursing management job. Quality improvement allowed me to advance the healthcare goals that I had been passionate about since my time in nursing school.

ECRI Patient Safety Organization and HCIF have been working together with regional Patient Safety Officers for the past four years supporting the Partnership for Patient Care (PPC) Safe Table program. What do you consider the greatest benefits and accomplishments of the PPC Safe Table so far?

I think the greatest accomplishment of the program is meeting the need of the PSO community by creating a protected space to improve patient safety together. While the Safe Table meetings started slowly with two per year, they have since increased to five per year at the encouragement of the participants.

What are your greatest accomplishments within your field so far and what do you see as the most important priority in patient safety?

I am most proud of my continued quality improvement work and my commitment to understanding the different issues in multiple settings.

I have been certified in healthcare quality; this allows me to take the broad view of what we need to do to improve patient care and keep patients safe. I have worked in quality in multiple settings such as the hospital, behavioral health, ambulatory care, and managed care. ECRI awarded me the Patient Centered Award, which validated my commitment to patients.

I think the most important priority is creating a culture of safety in every healthcare organization. This culture shift enables everyone, from leadership to the frontlines, to approach every problem with a patient-centric solution.

In addition to your work with the PPC Safe Table program, you have also participated in numerous other PPC programs over the years. What do you think makes HCIF unique and what have you found most valuable about working with HCIF?

HCIF is one of the only organizations to provide a venue for regional healthcare organizations to gather and collaborate on improvement activities.

One of the things I value most about my work with HCIF is the mutual commitment to healthcare improvement, and HCIF’s ability to convene various stakeholders to work together.

What is a quote that inspires you in your work?

Albert Einstein is credited with this quote: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” It reminds me that good quality work is the opposite of that; you are forced to rapidly make adjustments to improve care.


If you are interested in connecting with Barbara on LinkedIn, you can find her at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/barbaragrebold/. Something that you may not know about Ms. Rebold is that her husband and children as well as herself enjoy renovating classic cars and drag racing cares. They have almost 10 cars and she has actually been a drag race driver on several occasions! In addition to her love of cars and once travel opens up again, she would like to return to one of her favorite places to visit, Hawaii!

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