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A Patient Safety Curriculum for Medical Residents Based on the Perspectives of Residents and Supervisors

Jansma, José D. MSc*†; Wagner, Cordula MA, PhD†‡; Bijnen, Arnold B. MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/PTS.0b013e31821b3ace
Original Articles

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.

From the *Foreest Medical School, Medical Center Alkmaar, Alkmaar; †EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center; ‡NIVEL Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research, Utrecht; and §VU University Medical Center, Institute for Education and Training, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Correspondence: José D. Jansma, MSc, Foreest Medical School Medical Center Alkmaar, Wilhelminalaan 12, Room 054, 1815JD Alkmaar, The Netherlands (e-mail:

With financial support from Foreest Medical School of Medical Center Alkmaar, and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport in the Netherlands, this study was conducted as part of the Dutch Patient Safety Research Program. This Program is initiated by the Dutch Society of Medical Specialists (in Dutch: Orde van Medisch Specialisten) and the Dutch Institute for Healthcare Improvement (CBO) and is carried out by EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center/NIVEL Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.