Education and Training

Annual Courses

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 MD/MPH Students

The course is geared towards teaching second year MD/MPH students (approximately 50) about patient safety within the health care field. The goals are to provide students with the requisite knowledge, skills, behaviors, and attitudes to prevent medical errors. The following competencies are addressed: 1) calling for help; 2) teamwork and communication; 3) situational awareness; and 4) preventing medication and other system errors.

Inter-Professional Patient Safety Course for Medical and Nursing Students

A joint venture between the UM-JMH Center for Patient Safety and the School of Nursing and Health Sciences brings (approximately 260) incoming third-year medical students and post-baccalaureate nursing students together. The weeklong Interprofessional Patient Safety Course uses cutting-edge technology and realistic simulated patient encounters to nurture mutual respect between the future doctors and nurses while strengthening essential communication and team-building skills to prevent errors and improve patient outcomes in the real world.

Patient Safety Course for Interns

Each year all incoming interns (approximately 185) 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), the following competencies are specifically addressed: 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.