Pioneering new course to improve patients’ safety

Pioneering new course to improve patients’ safety

Healthcare workers are being targeted by organisers of a pioneering new course which aims to help curb the numbers of patients coming to harm during medical treatment.

Each year around one in 10 patients in acute hospitals in

the UK

suffer what is known as an adverse event which is an incident that can result

in injury and, in worse cases, disability and death.

Almost half of these events - which could be caused by

mistakes in prescribing medicine, errors in identifying patients, hospital

acquired infections, hospital falls, radiation dose errors and surgical complications

- are preventable. Around 8% of adverse events contribute to a patients' death.

Improving the safety of patients is one of the major

challenges for hospital bosses and Governments across Britain and

beyond.

Now the University

of Aberdeen - which is already a

centre of excellence for its work in patient safety - has launched Scotland's

first postgraduate degree course which meets that remit.

The new MSc in Patient Safety – a Clinical Human Factors

Approach is aimed at all kinds of health professionals and medical

practitioners such as nurses, hospital doctors, GPs, anaesthetists, managers, radiographers

and pharmacists.

The two year part time course – which students complete

during block release so that it fits around their current job – will cover a

wide range of areas which include methods of studying patient safety, errors

and adverse events and an examination of the limitations of human performance.

Teaching will be delivered by academics who form part of the

University of Aberdeen's internationally renowned

Patient Safety Research Group which is investigating many issues including team

work in intensive care units, clinical leadership, the safe and effective

supply of medicines and the early recognition of critical illness.

Students will also learn from the University's researchers

about safety management of other high risk work sectors such as aviation,

nuclear power and the offshore industry.

Professor Rhona Flin, who heads the University of Aberdeen's

Patient Safety Research Group and the Scottish Patient Safety Research Network,

said: "The University of Aberdeen's new MSc in Patient Safety is the first

degree of its kind in Scotland and reflects not only the University's expertise

in this subject but also the current drive across Scotland to enhance

professional skills for the delivery of safe treatment in our healthcare system."

Dr Steven Yule, a psychology lecturer at the University of Aberdeen, added: "There is currently no

formal training for clinicians in the human and system causes of error and

adverse events. The MSc in Patient Safety has been specifically developed for

healthcare professionals to study as they are working in a way that will

enhance both their knowledge and career."

The new MSc has been welcomed by world renowned neurosurgeon

Professor Sir Graham Teasdale, Chair of NHS Quality Improvement Scotland and

past President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Glasgow.

He said: "Increasing the safety of care and quality of care

is a priority for all involved in looking after patients. It is the focus of a

major effort throughout Scotland

and this course is a welcome addition to the range of initiatives supporting

the Scottish Patient Safety Programme."

For more information about the course see: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/mscpatientsafety

For

more information on patient safety research at the University of Aberdeen

see www.abdn.ac.uk/psrg               

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