The crowning jewel of our educational programs is the annual patient safety course for third-year medical students and all incoming interns. For several weeks each spring, the activity at CPS reaches a fever pitch as the trainees go through a series of lectures and rigorous hands-on simulation exercises using both mannequins and standardized patients. We also assess retention of previously learned patient safety skills through the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) exercises at the beginning of the medical students’ fourth year. It is our hope that the inclusion of patient safety activities across the spectrum of medical education will reinforce safe practices.
Patient Safety Course for Third-Year Medical Students
Prior to the start of clinical rotations, all third year medical students (approximately 140) must complete the mandatory patient safety course. This course will help guide medical students for handling patient care challenges using a team approach and calling for help immediately. Recognizing that medical students may benefit from a patient safety orientation, the Center for Patient Safety has developed an innovative curriculum to impart competencies related to their role in preventing medical errors. In the course, which runs during clinical orientation (2nd week of June), we specifically address 1) calling for help; 2) teamwork and communication; 3) hand hygiene compliance; and, 4) preventing medication and other system errors.
Patient Safety Course for Interns
Each year all incoming interns (approximately 170) are exposed to a variety of patient safety issues in an effort to increase situational awareness from the outset. After finishing medical school, interns are in many ways unprepared for handling patient care challenges independently. Recognizing that interns may benefit from a patient safety orientation, the Center for Patient Safety has developed an innovative curriculum to impart competencies related to their role in preventing medical errors. In the course, which runs during the first week of the intern year (3rd week of June), we specifically address 1) calling for help; 2) teamwork and communication; 3) hand hygiene compliance; and, 4) preventing medication and other system errors.
The course consists of a lecture, interactive workshop, and a Web-based didactic component. Small-group simulation sessions allow instructors to assess interns’ baseline competence situational awareness, hand hygiene, and patient hand-offs. In an individual exercise, interns performed a directed physical exam on a standardized patient and their performance is assessed. In a group exercise, team performance is evaluated in accepting a hand-off from another provider and managing a deteriorating patient.
Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
As a reflection of how strongly the Miller School of Medicine values quality and safety in healthcare, they asked the Center for Patient Safety to conduct a patient safety assessment as part of the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) at the beginning of the medical students’ fourth year. We ran a Patient Safety OSCE station for the second time this year; it gave the students an opportunity to demonstrate their skills in recognizing patient safety hazards and communicating them to the patient and other physicians.
The Idea of the Hospital: An Interdisciplinary Inquiry
This interdisciplinary course offers graduate students across the University the opportunity to appreciate and examine closely the complexity of the hospital form and the necessarily multiple perspectives within which we view, think, and work in hospitals. The course is geared towards teaching graduate students about patient safety issues in the health care field. The goals are to provide students with the requisite knowledge, skills, behaviors and attitudes to understand the issues involved in delivering safe patient care, and also to be able to identify and solve patient safety problems. The course involves a series of interactive didactic sessions and simulated sessions at the UM-JMH Center for Patient Safety.