Patient safety

Patient safety research: introductory course (on-line)

How familiar are you with the concept of patient safety? Hundreds of thousands of patients are harmed or die each year due to unsafe care, or get injured inadvertently when seeking health care. Understanding the magnitude of the problem in hospitals and primary care facilities is the first step towards improving patient safety. A series of free on-line courses were broadcast (in April and May 2010) to introduce the basic elements of patient safety research.

There were eight sessions for health-care professionals and researchers interested in learning how to identify patient safety problems. Through these sessions, participants were informed of the core principles of patient safety research.

The sessions were provided by internationally renowned specialists in patient safety, namely Dr David Bates, External Programme Lead for Research, WHO Patient Safety, and the Director of the Center of Excellence in Patient Safety and Research, USA, and Dr Albert Wu, a professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at Johns Hopkins University, USA.

Online Course Archives

The clickable links to the related documents are only available on the Powerpoint file when open as a full screen.

PDF(1in1) means 1 slide in 1 page on PDF file, and PDF(2in1) means 2 slides in 1 page on PDF file.

Session 1

This first session introduces the concept of "Patient Safety". Starting from the definition of patient safety, topical global issues are explained, supported by practical examples.

Presentation files

Session 2

In this session, we focus on "research" in patient safety. Five important aspects of the research cycle will be explained: “measuring harm”, “understanding causes”, “identifying solutions”, “evaluating impact” and “translating evidence into safer health care”.

Presentation files

Session 3

Measuring what goes wrong in health care includes counting how many patients are harmed or killed each year, and from what types of adverse events. This session introduces methods for measuring harm.

Presentation files

Session 4

Once priority areas have been identified, the next step is to understand the underlying causes of adverse events that lead to patient harm. This session explains several methods, using practical examples.

Presentation files

Session 5

To improve patient safety, solutions are needed that tackle the underlying causes of unsafe care. In this session we explain how we can design solutions and implement them.

Presentation files

Session 6

It is crucial to evaluate the effectiveness of solutions in real-life settings in terms of their impact, acceptability and affordability. In this session, several methods for evaluation are introduced.

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Session 7

The final step in the research cycle is to understand how research findings can be translated into practice.

Presentation files

Session 8

In this last session, we review the previous sessions, reflecting on questions and comments from the participants. We also suggest ways to advance learning and where to find other useful resources for future study.

Presentation files

For further questions, please contact the Patient Safety Research Team at pslearning[AT] (to use this email address, please replace [AT] with @)