Elective Years 1 and 2: Fundamentals of Patient Safety and Quality Improvement

Department: Family Medicine
Title: Fundamentals of Patient Safety & Quality Improvement
Location: Dept of Family Medicine-Seminar Rooms or Zoom
Duration: 12 hours

Ms Mirella Chiodo at 780-492-8842 mirella.chiodo@ualberta.ca Dr. David G. Moores at david.moores@ualberta.ca


This elective is facilitated by Mirella Chiodo and David Moores, co-leads of the Department's Quality and Safety in Family Practice/Primary Care program. Notwithstanding quality education and skill development in Canada's health professions schools, medical, nursing and pharmacy errors are a significant problem and put patients' lives at risk and contribute to professional dissatisfaction. Clinical scenarios from the community sector and hospital sector and their interface will demonstrate the concepts of patient safety and quality improvement in health services delivery. Students are required to register with the IHI Open School and participate in four (4) local one hour and 15-minute teaching sessions. Short reading assignments will make up the additional time requirement. Students are encouraged to complete the required learning modules and post module Assessments leading to the Basic Certificate in Quality and safety of IHI. This is IHI's formal recognition for student participation.

  1. Introduce the student to Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI.org)
  2. Complete the four local patient safety and quality improvement sessions and assigned readings
  3. Begin the process of online learning and obtain an IHI Basic Certificate in Quality and Safety
Additional Notes:

Session 1:
Introduction to Patient Safety Fundamentals

  • Scope of the problem or Challenge
  • Characteristics of Medical Errors (Error vs Harm)
  • Responding to Error
  • Understanding the Science of Human Factors
  • Reading Assignment - To Err is Human

Session 2:
Teamwork and Communication

  • Importance of teamwork and communication
  • Significant events and Analysis (Critical Incident, Root Cause Analysis)
  • Tools and Methods for Significant Event Analysis
  • Dissemination of Findings
  • Reading Assignment - SEA for Primary Care Teams

Session 3:
Fundamentals and Models of Quality Improvement

  • Setting an aim (SMART Goals)
  • Measuring, developing and testing changes (PDSA)
  • The Fundamentals of Measuring for Improvement
  • The life cycle of a quality improvement project

Session 4:
The Human Side of Patient Safety and Quality Improvement

  • Building a culture of safety
  • What motivates people to change
  • Overcoming resistance to change
  • Culture change versus process change
Last Updated: February 16, 2022