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Educating future leaders in patient safety

Authors Leotsakos A, Ardolino A, Cheung R, Zheng H, Barraclough B, Walton M

Received 30 August 2013

Accepted for publication 3 October 2013

Published 19 September 2014 Volume 2014:7 Pages 381—388


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Agnès Leotsakos,1 Antonella Ardolino,2 Ronny Cheung,3 Hao Zheng,1 Bruce Barraclough,4 Merrilyn Walton5

1Patient Safety Programme, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland; 2Wessex Deanery, Winchester, UK; 3Imperial Healthcare NHS, London, UK; 4The Australian E Health Research Centre, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Brisbane, Australia; 5Sydney School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

Abstract: Education of health care professionals has given little attention to patient safety, resulting in limited understanding of the nature of risk in health care and the importance of strengthening systems. The World Health Organization developed the Patient Safety Curriculum Guide: Multiprofessional Edition to accelerate the incorporation of patient safety teaching into higher educational curricula. The World Health Organization Curriculum Guide uses a health system-focused, team-dependent approach, which impacts all health care professionals and students learning in an integrated way about how to operate within a culture of safety. The guide is pertinent in the context of global educational reforms and growing recognition of the need to introduce patient safety into health care professionals' curricula. The guide helps to advance patient safety education worldwide in five ways. First, it addresses the variety of opportunities and contexts in which health care educators teach, and provides practical recommendations to learning. Second, it recommends shared learning by students of different professions, thus enhancing student capacity to work together effectively in multidisciplinary teams. Third, it provides guidance on a range of teaching methods and pedagogical activities to ensure that students understand that patient safety is a practical science teaching them to act in evidence-based ways to reduce patient risk. Fourth, it encourages supportive teaching and learning, emphasizing the need to establishing teaching environments in which students feel comfortable to learn and practice patient safety. Finally, it helps educators incorporate patient safety topics across all areas of clinical practice.

Keywords: patient safety education, WHO Patient Safety Curriculum Guide: Multiprofessional Edition

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