Quality and safety are pivotal in the health care profession, and yet for many years formalized courses and in-depth professional training have been missing.
Thanks to a unique course developed by patient safety expert Yan Xiao and his colleagues, students at The University of Texas at Arlington can now gain more experience into how to provide the safest and highest quality of care to patients.
“We’re not standing around still, repeating the same thing for 30 years,” said Xiao, professor in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation. “Nurses are taking on the role of leading quality and safety improvement in hospitals.
“Health care is constantly evolving, and this course is an example how our college innovates to meet those new demands, including learning about human factors in order to be more patient-centered and to be effective patient safety champions. We’ve set out to make a difference and help our students be change agents.”
CONHI’s course introduces students to the basics of patient safety and human factors and to the principle of patient safety improvement at the individual, team and organizational levels. Students use case studies to explore ways to reduce medical errors and to address human factors, which contribute to more than 80% of adverse events in health care settings.
“This course has proven to be vital in my career as a nurse,” said Charles Gathathi, an RN to BSN student. “I am now aware of how design can fail you and how gaps in communication can be harmful to patients.”
More than 1,200 students have completed the online course, which was introduced three years ago. Xiao credits its success to a team of coaches who support students and are professionals with years of experience in health care.
Julie Snow is one such academic coach and has more than 30 years of professional clinical nursing experiences.
“You can’t get away from quality, safety and process improvement in this profession,” she said.
– Written by Sarah McBride, College of Nursing and Health Innovation