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.