A comprehensive collaborative patient safety residency curriculum to address the ACGME core competencies

Med Educ. 2005 Dec;39(12):1195-204. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2929.2005.02333.x.


Context: Patient safety currently receives only scant attention in most residency curricula. Safety is a subject that transcends the US Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education's 6 core competencies.

Objective: To design and implement a new patient safety curriculum in collaboration with the Schools of Nursing and Pharmacy, in such a way as to address all 6 competencies.

Setting and participants: The curriculum applies to a university-based family medicine residency programme with 45 residents at 5 sites, including urban, suburban and rural sites. CURRICULUM DESIGN: The curriculum includes introductory workshops for faculty and residents, a series of didactic courses, individual portfolios and a series of small group exercises including chart reviews, case presentations and a longitudinal quality improvement project. The activities are run by a multidisciplinary team.

Outcome measures: Main outcome measures include assessment of resident performance in curriculum activities and in an annual objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) that includes standardised patient interviews, simulations and a written examination. Programme evaluation will include comparison of OSCE performance with that at a neighbouring residency.

Results: Residents identified safety problems and system-based solutions using a safety journal. Cases of polypharmacy were identified using journals and chart reviews, and medication changes proposed and discussed. At resident practice sites, residents identified safety priorities based on a staff survey and proposed system-based solutions. Results of the OSCE will be presented elsewhere.

Conclusions: A new patient safety curriculum was successfully introduced into a family medicine residency. The curriculum integrates patient safety into residents' daily activities and incorporates input from the disciplines of nursing and pharmacy so as to help build more effective clinical teams and inculcate a culture of safety.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Curriculum
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • New York
  • Rural Health
  • Safety Management
  • Urban Health