Positioning continuing education: boundaries and intersections between the domains continuing education, knowledge translation, patient safety and quality improvement

Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract. 2013 Mar;18(1):141-56. doi: 10.1007/s10459-011-9340-1. Epub 2011 Dec 14.


Public and professional concern about health care quality, safety and efficiency is growing. Continuing education, knowledge translation, patient safety and quality improvement have made concerted efforts to address these issues. However, a coordinated and integrated effort across these domains is lacking. This article explores and discusses the similarities and differences amongst the four domains in relation to their missions, stakeholders, methods, and limitations. This paper highlights the potential for a more integrated and collaborative partnership to promote networking and information sharing amongst the four domains. This potential rests on the premise that an integrated approach may result in the development and implementation of more holistic and effective interdisciplinary interventions. In conclusion, an outline of current research that is informed by the preliminary findings in this paper is also briefly discussed. The research concerns a comprehensive mapping of the relationships between the domains to gain an understanding of potential dissonances between how the domains represent themselves, their work and the work of their 'partner' domains.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Education, Medical, Continuing*
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination
  • Patient Safety*
  • Quality Improvement*
  • Translational Research, Biomedical*