SOM Elective Brochure

Electives Type:  Career Development

Elective Title
Foundations in Patient Safety and Health Care Quality
Course Number
4 weeks
Prerequisites: Successful completion of Year 2 
      Additional Requirements:
C form is required, submit to Tiffany Swain by email at Contact Dr. Gerik ( in advance of the course to discuss the course schedule.
Responsible Faculty Director:
Susan Gerik, M.D.
Other Faculty:
Kathryn Fiandt, DNS, FAANP
Location to Report on First Day
Periods Offered
including Period 12 (June), including the holiday vacation Period 13 (Dec)
Maximum Enrollment

 Students will develop skills and gain experiences working collaboratively with other healthcare professionals to improve patient outcomes. Graduates of UTMB will be leaders and innovators, advancing collaborative interprofessional teamwork in the context of patient safety and health care quality. 1.Students will assimilate skills of interprofessional behavior, including teamwork. 2.Students will develop an appreciation for the role of each professional in the healthcare team. 3.Students will communicate and define the role of patient safety and quality in the context of their environment.

 At the completion of this course the student will be able to: 1) Discuss the problem of patient quality and safety in health care including the impact of quality and safety issues on the cost of health care. 2) Define patient safety and quality from several perspectives: inpatient, outpatient, administration, and the operating room. 3) Define multiple causes and the various adverse effects associated with medical errors in health care. 4) Emphasize the importance of integrity and communication in both the prevention and management of medical errors. 5) Describe the quality improvement processes. 6) Describe the evidence base for quality improvement. 7) Describe processes for monitoring, investigating and preventing medical errors. 8) Interpret and communicate in small and large group sessions their own perspectives regarding processes, and how their perspectives may have changed over the course semester.

Description of course activities
 As an Interprofessional course, this elective will allow Medical students to interact, learn, collaborate and participate in an interprofessional setting with students from other schools at UTMB. 1.Students will complete assigned required readings, including the Institute of Medicine Landmark report on “To Err is Human”. 2.Students will participate in weekly class lectures and discussion of various Patient Safety and Quality Topics. 3.Students will attend local patient safety committee and /or Joint Quality Improvement Committee meetings. 4.Student will observe live demonstrations in a selected UTMB operating room .This will facilitate practical application and / or observation of safety techniques through participation. 5.Students will attend live or synchronous web-based conferences and weekly class sessions with assigned faculty members to discuss relevant journal articles or health care cases either from in-house or from external sources such as the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s web-based Morbidity and Mortality Rounds. 6.Students will produce and submit of one group project, and one quality improvement research project. The research project is a 1000+ word essay on a student- selected and preceptor approved topic addressing the course objectives or a topic of interest to the student and the group respectively. 7.Students will have the opportunity to view selected films, interact and dialogue on the course Discussion Board, review video presentations, and other media products addressing medical errors and patient safety in healthcare on Blackboard 9.0.

Type of students who would benefit from the course
 Students enrolled in this course will have an opportunity to engage in a variety of interprofessional learning activities designed to facilitate professional competencies for health care practitioners. The problems with quality and safety are reviewed from a health care systems perspective. Quality improvement processes are addressed utilizing clinical examples from across clinical settings. Any student interested in patient safety and in decreasing adverse patient experiences would benefit from this elective. The modality of this course allows for a student to interact with faculty members and fellow students in the classroom setting as well as online (outside of class). Assigned readings, the course syllabus, and other relevant content are available online in Blackboard 9.0.

Weekly Schedule
  Clinical Activities (please insert estimated schedule here)
  Day of Week AM PM
  Tuesday 5:00-6:30pm
  Thursday 5:00-6:30pm
  Average number of patients seen per week: N/A  
  Call Schedule:   N/A  

  Research Activities (please insert estimated schedule here)
  Activity Hours per Week
  Faculty contact time

3-4 / week

  Self-directed study

15-20/ week

  Data collection/analysis

  Other Research, Library Research, Literature review/writing/data analysis, Operating Room Demonstrations

5-15/ week

Method of student evaluation
Check all that apply - complete appropriate section(s) only:
1.  Clinical Observation
  A. Where are students observed on this elective?
    Inpatient service   Ambulatory   Surgery   Standardized patients
Patients simulators   Other
  B. Frequency - How often are students observed clinically?
    Students are not observed clinically in this course
  C. Format - What method(s) are used to document the student's clinical performance?
    Daily oral feedback   End of period oral feedback   Written feedback

2.  Oral Presentation
  A. Audience - To whom does the student present?
    The student group project, as well as the individual student research project, will be presented to the collective faculty members and other participating students on the selected day as assigned by the respective faculty member. The student group will outline the presentation so that the group has demonstrated achievement of the objective for the assignment.
  B. Frequency / duration of presentation(s)?
    Each student will select a group of team members to produce the group project. (This will occur on a selected week during the course) The group presentation will be 20 minutes in length. The individual research project will occur during the last week of the course as a single presentation. (Please turn in copy for faculty review)
  C. Format - What guidelines are set for the student's presentation?
    The student presentation can occur in any of the following formats: 20-30 minute oral presentation to the class with appropriate visual aids (i.e. PowerPoint presentation with annotated remarks and references, Handouts, or oral case presentation in a detailed summary format. Additionally, there will be 10 minutes of questions/answers with audience. Students will be encouraged to produce a scholarly product for external presentation (poster, manuscript, other).
  D. Assessment - Who assesses the student's presentation performance?
    Self-assessment   Peer assessment   Faculty assessment
  E. Method of content selection
    Current cases  Student-selected topic   Assigned topic

3.  Written Assignment (H&P's, notes, papers, abstracts, etc.)
  A. Frequency of written assignment(s)?
    The written assignments will be assigned for particular weeks in the course. One will be the group project assignment quality improvement group project. The second will be the written final problem analysis paper. (research paper with references.) Students may be asked to write a reflection on a particular aspect of a presentation or course activity. Weekly Deliverable – Students will be asked to write a reflection on an experience or encounter each week. The reflection may be on any of the following: a film, book, course reading, discussion topic, or an observation in a meeting or clinical setting.
  B. Format - What guidelines are set for the student's written work?
    The Faculty member will grade the students’ work using an outline rubric developed by the participating faculty members. Some of the criterion may include: 1.Relevance of the topic 2.Thesis Statement- The author identifies a thesis based on relevant experiences and research. 3.Thesis synopsis- The author synthesizes her/his argument to support the thesis. The author reflects critically on her/his relevant experiences, feelings pertaining to the topic. 4.Reaction- The reaction expresses a personal, reasoned response to how her/his reflections might be helpful in her/his health care career. 5.Style – the essay was proofed for spelling errors and typos and follows stylistic guidelines. The paragraphs reflect basic principles of organization. The writing is grammatically correct.
  C. Length of written assignment(s)?
    Abstract   Annotated bibliography   1 - 2 page paper   3+ page paper
  D. Are recent references required?   No    If yes, how are they selected?
    However, any UTMB Library reference materials may be used in order to complete this outline and expectations of the assignment. (if current materials are unavailable
  E. Method of content selection - e.g. student-selected, relate to cases, etc.?
    Student –selected, related to cases, Chosen from resources offered on course website. A student may self select a research topic with guidance from the faculty. Related to cases presented in the course, a particular research topic of interest and items relevant to patient safety and quality may individually be considered.
  F. Audience - Who assesses the student’s written performance?
    Peer Assessment     Faculty Assessment     Other

4.  Examination
    Oral   Written multiple choice   Written essay / short answer   OSCE

5.  Extra Course Activities
  What expectations do you have for the student to demonstrate participation in the elective (e.g. small group activities, seminars, thoughtful questions, providing resources, journal club, resident lecture attendance)?
    Students will be expected to: 1.Participate actively and thoughtfully in all large and small group activities and in - class discussions. 2.Read and discuss case studies (in class) and other relevant materials located on Blackboard 9.0 in relation to the weekly course outline. 3.Post responses to faculty elected questions on the discussion Board, as well as, make an initial response to a class members posting. 4.Make meaningful observations and engage fully in the debrief activity, in the Operating Room demonstrations, or other clinical settings. 5.Make appropriate preparations and complete course readings assigned by the faculty member each week. 6.Make adequate preparations for relevant meeting attendance (with group members, course assigned meeting, committee.) 7.Meet project deadlines, including final oral presentation and/ or written product.

6.  Other Modes of Evaluation
  Please explain below.
    Faculty will evaluate students by their participation in large and small groups, weekly reflections, and evaluate the thoroughness of the group project and the submitted research paper. In addition, a students’ overall evaluation may be based on the degree of initiative, enthusiasm, professionalism, and preparedness the student exhibited during the course. Students may also demonstrate participation by asking thought provoking questions, applying the information that is taught, reviewing literature and relevant patient safety journals. These actions would also demonstrate favorable participation in the elective. Because the topic of patient safety requires that a physician have excellent communication skills, special emphasis will be given to observing the student’s communication style with team members and other parties involved. Feedback will be given and communication coaching will be provided as appropriate.
7.  If this course is an Acting Internship, please complete the following:
  A. Specify how the student will be given formative feedback on their clinical skills.
B. List advanced clinical skills that a student will be assured an opportunity to practice.
C. List other advanced clinical skills that a student may be exposed to depending on clinical case availability.
  D. How will the acting intern student have responsibilities similar to a PGY1 resident? How will their responsibilities differ?
  E. How will this course help prepare a student enter an internship in this field or a related field?
  F. How will midpoint feedback be provided to the student? How will you remediate deficiencies identified at midpoint?
  G. Acting Internship students often seek letters of recommendation following their experience. How many different faculty are they likely to encounter during this course? What is the usual number of working days they can expect to encounter the same individual faculty member? Describe the degree of supervision and interaction with faculty vs. residents or other providers.