Patient Safety Leadership

Patient safety is an issue at the forefront of healthcare today. In fact, a recent study suggests that in the U.S., medical error is the third most common cause of death [l]. As we eliminate error and reduce risk in our healthcare system, we directly improve care and reduce cost. The emerging field of Patient Safety is transforming healthcare for the 21st century.

The University of Illinois at Chicago offers the Master of Science in Patient Safety Leadership and a Graduate Certificate Program in Patient Safety, Error Science, and Full Disclosure. The Patient Safety Leadership (PSL) programs are designed to facilitate dynamic educational opportunities in a learner-centered environment for both clinical and nonclinical healthcare professionals who desire to become leaders in patient safety and the delivery of quality healthcare. PSL students study historical approaches to safety and quality care, as well as discover leading-edge quality improvement and risk-reduction strategies, among them health information technology and the concepts of full disclosure and just culture. Learners will benefit from the focus on interprofessional teamwork, simulation training, communication and collaboration, medical error science, organizational change, and healthcare leadership. Graduates of the program will have the skills to design, implement, and lead a broad range of patient safety activities that guide a healthcare organization towards a culture of safer healthcare practices across all healthcare delivery settings.

The program courses are delivered online, asynchronously, using the Blackboard Learning Management System. In the online environment, PSL learners engage in self-directed and team-based learning. A three-day onsite residency requirement (during PSL 501) at the UIC campus provides learners the opportunity to practice and apply the tools and principles introduced in the preceding online courses, and to participate in active learning with their peers in a face-to-face format.

Program Administration

The degree for the Patient Safety Leadership program is conferred by the Graduate College at the UIC College of Medicine commencement. The program is offered by the UIC Department of Medical Education (DME) and administered by the UIC Extended Campus.

The certificate program is conferred by the Department of Medical Education in the UIC College of Medicine.

Detailed information about the PSL programs can be found online.

[l] Makary, M.A., & Daniel, M. (2016). Medical error—the third leading cause of death in the U.S. BMJ, 353, i2139.

Admission and Degree Requirements

PSL 401. Patient Safety and Quality Care Improvement. 4 hours.

Introduces students to relevant theory, content, tools and methods in the fields of patient safety and quality care improvement. Course Information: Extensive computer use required.

PSL 402. Error Science, Risk and Disclosure. 4 hours.

Error theory and systems thinking, methods for risk assessment and patient safety improvement; development of proficiency with patient safety risk assessment and improvement methods, principles of safe system design, and apology. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): Grade of B or better in PSL 401; or consent of the instructor.

PSL 403. Communication and Collaboration. 4 hours.

Introduction to advanced communication strategies for success in the current and future health care system. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): Grade of B or better in PSL 402; or consent of the instructor.

PSL 404. Organizational Leadership in Health Systems. 4 hours.

Organization theory, culture, and change specifically related to the health care system in the current medical error and quality improvement environment. Focuses on leadership specific to creating a culture of safety. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): Grade of B or better in PSL 403; or consent of the instructor.

PSL 501. Healthcare Simulation, Team, Applied Leadership Principles. 4 hours.

Requires the learner to synthesize and integrate patient safety theory and practice and apply related knowledge and skill toward the development of recommended safety solutions. Includes onsite residency. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): Grade of B or better in PSL 404; or consent of the instructor.

PSL 502. Health Sciences Research and Information Technology. 4 hours.

Application in developing, analyzing, and reporting behavioral and/or organizational measures specific to safety and quality care outcomes. Introduction to electronic medical record, e-prescribing, telemedicine and electronic resource management. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): Grade of B or better in PSL 501; or consent of the instructor.

PSL 503. Economics, Policy and Environment. 4 hours.

Major topics of discussion include accreditation and regulatory issues, Federal and state constituents and laws, and institutional and individual legal issues in relation to the patient safety movement. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): Grade of B or better in PSL 502; or consent of the instructor.

PSL 504. Creating Human and System Change. 4 hours.

Examine the concept of change and its impact on health care organizations and individuals. Assess current systems, create effective change strategies for process improvements, behavior change, and facilitation of a patient safety culture. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): Grade of B or better in PSL 503; or consent of the instructor.

PSL 594. Special Topics in Patient Safety Leadership. 1-4 hours.

Selected topics of current interest as determined by faculty in patient safety leadership. Course Information: May be repeated. Students may register for more than one section per term. Extensive computer use required.

PSL 596. Independent Study in Patient Safety. 1-4 hours.

Independent study course, not related to the student's capstone project, under the direction of a faculty member. Course Information: Extensive computer use required. There are two eight-week terms in the spring and fall semesters. The course will be offered twice in the fall and spring semesters. The course will be offered once in the summer semester. May be repeated to a maximum of 8 hours of credit. Prerequisite(s): Open only to Master's degree students; and approval of the department; and consent of the PSL Program Director or DGS.

PSL 597. Capstone Project. 4 hours.

Provides the opportunity for the master's candidate to demonstrate his/her ability to integrate and apply the knowledge and skills acquired from the master's program. Course Information: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading only. Prerequisite(s): Grade of B or better in PSL 504; or consent of the instructor.