Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Referent At Médecins Sans Frontières

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international humanitarian aid organization that provides assistance in more than 60 countries to populations in distress, to victims of natural or manmade disasters and to victims of armed conflicts, without discrimination and irrespective of origin, religion, creed or political affiliation.

Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Referent (m/f/x) – MSF Belgium – Brussels


The Medical Department at MSF Operational Centre Brussels (MSF OCB) provides strategic direction and technical leadership, committing to keeping up to date on innovations in health care. It shares the responsibility of the operational choices and the responsiveness to needs. The department is involved in the support of project teams jointly developing context-adapted medical-operational strategies, defining levels of care and supporting quality improvement (QI). The department is composed of multiple specialists based across a network of units across the world and works in close collaboration with operations, other OCB departments and MSF movement.

There are multiple dimensions to quality in health care and MSF has a chosen focus on safe, effective and person-centered care. As a leader in medical humanitarian action, MSF has many evidence-based guidelines, supporting tools and an increasing range of training, mentoring and coaching options for staff. MSF also has a commitment to improving the patient safety and QI culture and competencies and The Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Referent will be central to supporting this journey.

The overall goal of this position is to enable all projects to utilize evidence-based methodologies to improve quality, measure their progress and to increase competencies around preventing, detecting, reacting and learning from patient safety incidents (PSI).


I. Lead on project uptake of evidence-based QI methods and patient safety competencies

  • Assess, develop and support the updating of relevant guidance, protocols and tools for QI and patient safety and ensure their accessibility
  • Use, adapt or develop trainings and workshops for different cadres of staff (headquarters, country coordination and projects) on QI and Patient Safety
  • Ensure the suite of trainings, resources and tools for education, monitoring and assessment are complimentary, communicated and accessible in conjunction with Medical Department Colleagues, Learning and Development and the Information Knowledge Management (IKM) teams
  • Creatively facilitate QI and Patient Safety exchanges for project and coordination levels (for example, through the community of practice platform)
  • Support the integration of quality related competencies into job descriptions, to support relevant capacity development in collaboration with the Human Resources department and Medical Department, especially the Hospital Management Support Unit
  • Support referents, mobile implementation officers, operational colleagues, mentors and other project supporting colleagues to integrate QI methodology in their support to projects
  • Advise projects, medical, operational and other department colleagues on opportunities and challenges to enable quality improvement in a specific context or domain
  • Visit projects to give more proximate support, grounded in operational realities, to enable ownership, prioritization and sustainability of QI and Patient Safety activities (up to 30% of working time)
  • Engage in the induction, onboarding and debriefings of project and coordination staff and the onboarding of headquarter colleagues to contextualize needs and support skill development

II. Enable the organizational development for QI and Patient Safety

  • Support the senior leadership in their efforts to enhance a culture of systematic QI and a “no blame, no shame” culture to support patient safety in all MSF OCB projects
  • Develop and communicate an effective governance mechanism for formal PSI and other mechanism that reveal PSI, that is orientated towards learning in collaboration with medical, operational and risk management colleagues
  • Support the analysis on specific PSI and cascade learning in an accessible manner, as defined in the governance mechanism for PSI
  • Contribute to development of user-friendly, safe reporting tools for patient safety incidents that encourages reporting, supports the analysis and wider learning across all of MSF
  • Work on the development, coherence and clarity of quality of care indicators with the Quality Alliance, operational and medical colleagues, including those who support with data capture, to enable monitoring of progress for different layers of the organization
  • Actively participate and contribute to the work of the MSF Quality Alliance (an MSF intersectional platform of quality focal points – at least 10% of working time)
  • Compile, analyze and report on OCB QI and patient safety activities (as part of the annual report)
  • Advise on evaluation and / or operational research activities to support learning and capitalization from QI activities
  • Stay up to date on new developments and interpret their relevance for humanitarian settings, and MSF (including attending relevant conferences, developing and maintaining an expert network)
  • Contribute to other relevant initiatives that have a safe, effective and person-centered care dimension (for example, risk management or evolution of a patient charter)
  • Support in the onboarding Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Mobile Implementation Officer.


The Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Referent is part of the OCB Medical Department expertise and works closely with department colleagues, operations and support departments and the MSF Quality Alliance. They are accountable to the Medical Technical Manager and will in the future line-manage and support the Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Mobile implementation officer.


Education & Experience

  • Medical, Nursing, Midwifery Degree
  • Master of Public Health or similar post-graduate qualification is an asset
  • Formal training in quality improvement, quality assurance, patient safety or healthcare management is an asset
  • At least 3 years of experience with MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières) or similar humanitarian organization with active involvement in quality improvement
  • Experience in training and mentoring medical staff, with a style that inspires and develops a collaborative approach
  • Experience in developing and delivering training that enables the translation of theory into practice


  • Strong project management skills to see initiatives through to successful conclusion (chart a course, set priorities, stay the course and use a parking lot approach for all other items which may “distract”)
  • Good analytical skills from a medical to an organizational lens
  • Good written, spoken and presentational communication skills.
  • An active listener, who communicates clearly and effectively to a wide range of people, with a sense of diplomacy and ability to negotiate and influence
  • Good Team player with cultural awareness and ability to establish and retain positive working relationships
  • Good leadership and HR management skills and team spirit
  • Flexibility in changing environment and ability to travel to MSF projects


  • Good knowledge of spoken and written English and French
  • Good knowledge of Spanish, Portuguese and/or Arabic is an asset


  • Expected starting date: As Soon As Possible
  • Location: Brussels (Belgium)
  • Mobility of 30% in the field
  • Contract type: Fixed-term contract – Full time
  • Contract duration: 24 months
  • Belgian contract; Salary according to MSF-OCB HQ grid
  • Meal Vouchers – Hospital Insurance (DKV) – Pension Plan – 100% reimbursement for public transportation costs
  • Adhere to the MSF principles and to our managerial values: Respect, Transparency, Integrity, Accountability, Trust and Empowerment
  • Adhere to the MSF Behavioral Commitments

Deadline for applications: 26 March 2023

How to apply

Please, send your CV and cover letter to [email protected] and mention “Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Referent” in the subject of your email.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

MSF values diversity and is committed to create an inclusive working environment. We welcome applications from all qualified candidates regardless of disability, gender identity, marital or civil partnership status, race, color or ethnic and national origins, religion or belief, or sexual orientation.

The protection of your personal data is important to MSF. By submitting your application, you consent to MSF using your personal data. For more information, consult our privacy notice to job applicants.

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