University of Aberdeen Takes you to the main page for this section


Return to Postgraduate course catalogue

PS5901 - Understanding Errors and Adverse Events

Credit Points: 20

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Kathryn Mearns

Pre-requisite(s): Degree level professional qualification or equivalent plus 18 months work experience in a healthcare environment (e.g. primary or secondary healthcare provider, healthcare management). MSc Patient Safety module 1.

The content will cover a theoretical and evidence-based background, exploring the data available on the patient safety problem, focusing initially on the large-scale studies of adverse events to set a context. The psychology of error and error types will then be discussed. The second half of this module will focus on practices to improve safety in other high-risk industries such as aviation, energy sector and military contexts. Taught by a multidisciplinary faculty from the College of Life Sciences and Medicine, specific topics to be covered include:
- Closed claim studies
- Case review (i.e. Harvard Medical Practice Study, Vincent at al (2001) study, Scottish study)
- Medication/drug errors
- Methods of studying and classifying errors
- Lessons for patient safety from high-risk industry
- Methods used to manage safety in high-risk industries
- Reporting systems in aviation and energy sector
- Safety climate/culture
- Safety leadership

Block week release with 1 week of full-time teaching plus private study. Teaching will be in December for the first course, with coursework due in by January. The format will be 10 3-hour workshops (2 per day) comprising lectures, small group work and interactive sessions. Participants are expected to draw on and share their personal experiences of the topics covered and small group activities will be a prominent feature of this module. Some formal lectures will be used to introduce new material, but these are complemented by focussed discussion, practical exercises and group work.

Assessment will comprise continuous assessment (80%) and oral presentation (20%).