Objectives: To develop a patient safety course for medical residents based on the views of medical residents and their supervisors.
Methods: In 2007, questionnaires were distributed to investigate residents' and supervisors' perspectives on the current patient safety performance and educational needs of residents. These perspectives were categorized according to the factors that influence daily practice as described in the London Protocol. Selection of course content and corresponding learning goals was made by an expert panel and based on the questionnaires' outcomes.
Results: One hundred sixteen (64%) respondents filled out the questionnaire. Residents rated health care as significantly safer than supervisors. Close links were found between described risks and expressed educational needs. Both were found to be predominantly related to team factors, work environmental factors, and individual factors. The principal course themes that were selected are as follows: (1) principles of patient safety, (2) human factors, (3) effective teamwork, (4) contribution to safer care, and (5) medicolegal aspects of patient safety.
Conclusions: Residents are not fully aware of all potential risks of their work and of their own role in patient safety. This underlines the need for an explicit focus on patient safety issues during their training. A needs assessment among involved parties engages respondents in the process and can provide valuable input for developing patient safety education for residents.