Patient Safety Curriculum Enhanced

medical studentsGraduates of our School of Medicine and Dentistry will practice in an environment where outcomes—including patient satisfaction and medical errors—become pointedly and quickly public. To meet the demands of this transparent world, the School in 2010 developed a more robust educational program on patient safety and quality.

The enhanced curriculum includes an introduction to medical errors and training in root cause analysis. The module involves class lectures, videotapes and small group exercises for root cause analysis of real world cases adapted for educational purposes.

Medical students encounter the new curriculum at the end of their second year. It is integrated with existing safety and quality curriculum taken in the third and fourth years.

The new programs provide medical students with a broader foundation and deeper understanding of current methods to optimize patient safety.

The Medical Center opened an eight-bed, multi-purpose skills lab in 2010. This lab supports educational programs and skills training for students and health care providers through the use of a variety of methods, including mannequin simulators. The School of Medicine and Dentistry also began a study of the structure of assessments used to evaluate students in their interactions with standardized patients, another mode of simulation. The goal is to provide students feedback based on similar measurements as they progress through the curriculum. Interactions with standardized patients help students develop the skills needed for good relationships with their patients as well as the skills necessary for taking patient histories and performing medical examinations.