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Web-based patient safety education curriculum incorporates suggestions from physicians, nurses, and patients

Suggestions from physicians, nurses, and patients have been incorporated into a new Web-based patient safety education curriculum. Development of the curriculum was supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (HS12043) and led by William R. Hendee, Ph.D., of the National Patient Safety Foundation and Medical College of Wisconsin.

In focus groups, physicians and nurses suggested that the curriculum target concerns such as the increasing complexity of the health care system, the culture of tolerance toward medical error, the hierarchy of professional authority in health care settings, and the historically punitive reaction toward medical errors. Physicians identified medication safety, the medical/legal/ethical aspects of patient safety, error reporting systems, safety practices, patient safety in hospital-based settings, and models reducing medical errors as the most important topics for inclusion in a patient safety curriculum. Nurses identified similar concerns, and also stressed work safety and models for constructively dealing with unsafe practices. Patients believed that patient safety education should cover concerns about hospital coordination and staffing, as well as patient empowerment, safety in hospital and non-hospital settings, identification and reporting of errors, methods to deal with unsafe practices, risk of medical error, and strategies for communicating with providers.

Patient safety experts drafted the detailed content of the education modules, which were peer-reviewed and compiled into the Web-based program. The online modules for Physicians; Nurses; Patients and Families; and Patients and Families Anticipating Anesthesia are available at

See "Development of a patient safety Web-based education curriculum for physicians, nurses, and patients," by Dr. Hendee, Collette Keating-Christensen, M.A., and Yik H. Loh, M.B.B.S., M.Med., in the June 2005 Journal of Patient Safety 1(2), pp. 90-99.

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