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Patient Safety in Action: Patient Safety Professional (PS Prof) Course

The Patient Safety Professional Course, which runs quarterly, has upcoming sessions from 1-5 April and 3-7 June 2019. Over the five day in-residence learning, new Patient Safety Managers will undergo an overview of patient safety standards, practices and products to help transition into their role.

Although the course is in high demand and outlined on its website, there is information that needs to be highlighted to demonstrate how valuable the course is for those who may not be aware. As a result, the DoD Patient Safety Team has interviewed a current course staff member, Ms. Lauren Alexandris, to inquire further about the course’s real world implementation. The questions below provide this further overall insight:

Question (Q): The Patient Safety Professional Course is designed for new patient safety managers, typically those who have been in the role for less than a year. Why do you feel it's important to have this course for new patient safety managers?

Answer (A): This course is designed to help Patient Safety (PS) professionals begin their professional development. PS Professionals are a new discipline specifically developed to champion and facilitate harm prevention to patients. By introducing the principles and skills taught in the course at this early stage in their career, our goal is that it is the beginning of a career long focus.

Q: The course has been described as "highly interactive". What makes it so?

A: It begins with the setup of the space. Our PS professionals are placed in groups where they can discuss difficulties or alternatives that have worked for them at the local level. Activities are planned throughout the week where the groups answer the proposed questions and choose a leader to report. When the students hear of situations that are similar to the experiences at their facilities, they are encouraged to connect. These collaborative interactions help build connections and leave longer lasting impressions.

Q: What is the outline of the course over the five day period? Mostly lectures? Small groups?

A: It is a five day course with a lot packed in. The first three days are lectures with various activities with a lot of collaboration within the small group. The course ends with the last two days focusing on Comprehensive Systematic Analysis using the Root Cause Analysis Methodology: TapRooT.

Q: The course addresses patient safety topics such as human factors, safety culture and risk identifying and mitigating to name a few. Is there one particular topic that you feel has the biggest or most relevant impact now?

A: There is not one particular session that is more valuable than others. The military treatment facilities (MTFs) face different challenges and depending on their individual circumstances some may find more value at varying instances.

Q: What kind of professionals register for the course? Doctors? Healthcare administrators? Nurses?

A: All of the above. Primarily designed for staff designated as Patient Safety Managers and/or Patient Safety champions, who are new to the role within their first year. Dentists, Registered Nurses, Pharmacists, healthcare administrators to name a few. The Service representatives elect those PS professionals that they feel would benefit the most. Because of the time and wealth of knowledge taught in the course, participants are even eligible to obtain continuing education (CE) credit. The course is fully accredited through The Postgraduate Institute for Medicine and offers credits for ACPE, ACHE, CERP, CME, CCNE, APA, and IACET CEU.

Q: There is pre and post work for the course. How important is this to fully grasp the course's education as a whole?

A: The pre-work is a way to have the participants thinking prior to the course and set the stage. We ask the students to speak to other PS professionals at their facilities so they can see where what they learn in the course will be implemented at their local levels. At 3, 6 and 12 months, we provide coaching calls as touch points to refocus the efforts.

The DoD Patient Safety Team thanks the course staff member for providing this information to help both current and future potential Patient Safety Professional (PS Prof) Course participants. For any comments or questions with the information above, please email the DoD Patient Safety Team inbox.

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

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