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Integrating Patient Safety in the OMFS Curriculum: Survey of 4-Year Residency Programs

Buhrow, Suzanne Morse DHA, RN; Buhrow, Jack A. DDS, MS

doi: 10.1097/PTS.0000000000000094
Original Articles

Purpose In 2003, the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Committee on Health Professions Education Summit reported that students in all health professions should demonstrate competency in patient safety and performance improvement strategies to reduce the incidence of preventable medical errors. These recommendations have been adopted in medical, pharmacy, and nursing accreditation standards, yet not required in dental education. The purpose of this study was to explore if 4-year oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMFS) residency programs are aligned with other health professions in following the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations to incorporate evidence-based patient safety training in the postgraduate curricula.

Methods In October of 2012, a multiple choice questionnaire was sent to 27 four-year oral and maxillofacial surgery residency program directors via a link to Survey Monkey. A descriptive analysis of responses was performed upon achieving a 74% response rate.

Results Ninety-five percent of the responding 4-year OMFS programs have integrated patient safety training in the residency curriculum. Seventy percent complete between 2 and 10 hours of safety training per academic year. Eighty percent of the programs apply human factors and system engineering theories in morbidity and mortality conferences, and 50% require residents to perform root cause analyses (RCA) of adverse events.

Conclusions The results of this study indicate that the majority of 4-year OMFS programs include patient safety education in the residency curriculum, although the duration of training and integration of acquired knowledge into practice varied among participants.

From the *Buhrow & Ross Consulting, Fountain Hills; and †Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, Phoenix, Arizona.

Correspondence: Suzanne Morse Buhrow, DHA, RN, Buhrow & Ross Consulting, PLLC, 15263 E. Sage Drive, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268 (e-mail:

The authors disclose no conflict of interest.

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