The new Multi-Professional Patient Safety Curriculum Guide
released by the World Health Organization addresses the need to educate healthcare providers about how to minimize risks to their patients’ health. The comprehensive guide assists universities and schools in the fields of dentistry, medicine, midwifery, nursing and pharmacy to teach patient safety. It also supports the training of all healthcare professionals on a number of important patient safety concepts.
The impetus to improve patient safety worldwide grew after the publication of two reports in the late 1990s, To Err is Human, produced by the Institute of Medicine in the USA, in 1999 and An Organization with a Memory, produced by the United Kingdom Government’s Chief Medical Officer in 2000. Both reports recognized that error is routine during the delivery of health care and occurs in around 10% of hospital admissions.
For the past three years, the World Health Organization has been exploring the links between the education of the healthcare workforce and the safety of the healthcare system. A product of this work, the Guide is a comprehensive curriculum for effective student learning about patient safety. It highlights the key risks of healthcare and how to manage them, and shows how to recognize, report and analyze adverse events and hazards. It teaches about teamwork and the importance of clear communication, while emphasizing the importance of engaging with patients and care providers to build and sustain a culture of patient safety. The Guide also provides educators with case studies from each of the healthcare professions.
“One of the greatest challenges today is not about keeping up with the latest clinical procedures or the latest high-tech equipment. Instead, it is about delivering safer care in complex, pressurized and fast-moving environments. In such environments, things can often go wrong. Adverse events occur. Unintentional, but serious harm comes to patients during routine clinical practice, or as a result of a clinical decision,” wrote Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization, in the forward to the publication. “The fruits of applying [the Guide’s] recommendations will be immediate and measurable in terms of building the knowledge and skills of health sciences students that will better prepare them for safer practice.”
More details about the guide and information about how to download the publication are available on the World Health Organization’s web site at http://www.who.int/patientsafety/education/curriculum/en/index.html
IFDEA encourages its members to use the guide as a reference in efforts to improve patient safety worldwide and raise awareness about the many issues involved in patient safety. Links to the Guide resource page are also now posted on the IFDEA Resource Center at http://www.ifdea.org/gkc/Pages/default.aspx
IFDEA also asks that dental educators consider submitting case studies about patient safety, or other educational resources of interest to the dental education community, to the Resource Center on the IFDEA Web site at www.ifdea.org
. IFDEA is dedicated to making quality resources available at no cost to dental educators around the globe. The organization’s online library of reference articles, educational modules, teaching tools and other resources is constantly growing.