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    Free Online Course: The Science of Safety in Healthcare


    | Free

    Johns Hopkins University

    This course will introduce the basic principles of the science and culture of safety in healthcare. The goals for this course are to provide definitions and context of patient safety concepts and terms using a systems approach. We will explore foundation-level content in the science of safety, patient safety culture, teamwork, patient-centered care, and leading change. Students will also be introduced to strategies for identifying and mitigating risks through the use of human factors science and quality improvement methods. They will learn about the importance of using data to guide their change efforts, and about the use of the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP) as one model to engage care teams—and entire organizations—in the effort to reduce preventable harm to patients.
    While course content and examples will focus on the acute-care healthcare setting, specifically the hospital, learning will be relevant to other healthcare settings such as extended care, outpatient, and home care settings. The content of this course has been adapted from the intensive five-day Patient Safety Certificate Program offered by the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality as well as the Helene Fuld Fellows Program undergraduate course content from the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.

    Course Syllabus

    WEEK I: Overview: In this module, an overview of the science of safety and an introduction to a culture of safety in healthcare will be provided.

    • Patient Safety Q&A
    • Creating a Culture of Safety
    • The Science of Safety

    WEEK 2: Enabling and Contextual Factors Influencing Patient Safety and Quality: Enabling and contextual factors, including communication, teamwork, and healthcare human factors, that influence patient safety and quality will be explored in this module.  Complementary presentations by JHU faculty will introduce strategies to enhance communication and teamwork.

    • Leadership to Enhance Communication
    • Communication Toolkit I: Effective Communication
    • Communication Toolkit II: Teamwork
    • Human and Environmental Factors: Contribution to Error
    • Patient Involvement in Patient Safety
    • Increasing Family Participation in Care

    WEEK 3: Methods to Improve Safety and Quality: Given the system complexity and various sources of healthcare safety and quality defects, multiple methodologies are required to improve safety and quality.  In addition, sound measurement approaches are required to know whether risk has been reduced.  In this module, several examples of available methodologies to improve safety as well as measurement strategies will be examined.

    • Understanding CUSP and the CUSP Team
    • Learning from Defects in Patient Care
    • Using Event Reports to Design Safer Systems
    • Measuring Success in Safety Initiatives
    • Disclosing Adverse Events
    • Patient Centered Care

    WEEK 4: Translating Evidence Into Practice and Leading Change: In this module learners will explore the TRiP Model for translating evidence into practice, review an integrated approach to improving the reliability of care, and distinguish the technical and adaptive challenges of safety and quality improvement.

    • Translating Evidence into Practice
    • Leading Change
    • The Need for Improvement Science
    • What Can You Do to Improve Patient Safety?
    • The Business Case for Patient Safety
    • Q and A  “Ask us anything”

    WEEK 5: Summary and future challenges

    • Meet the Patient Safety Experts
    • Patient Safety Fellowship
    • Opportunities for Learning at the Armstrong Institute
    • Opportunities for Learning at the JHU School of Nursing

    Course Format

    Each week will be divided into multiple video segments that can be grouped as three or four lectures or viewed separately. Weekly discussion board questions and structured exercises will be designed to challenge students to consider patient safety best practices.

    5 weeks duration
    2-5 hours of work / week
    The following two tabs change content below.
    Alan Batt

    Alan Batt

    Paramedic, educator, researcher
    Alan is a critical care paramedic, paramedic educator and prehospital researcher, currently working around the world as an educator and researcher. He has previously worked and studied across Europe, North America and the Middle East. He holds a Graduate Certificate in Intensive Care Paramedic Studies, and an MSc in Critical Care. His main interests are in care of the elderly, end-of-life care, patient safety, professionalism (including role and identity), and paramedic education.


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    Last modified: 15/04/14

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