Errors as allies: error management training in health professions education

BMJ Qual Saf. 2013 Jun;22(6):516-9. doi: 10.1136/bmjqs-2012-000945. Epub 2013 Jan 3.


This paper adopts methods from the organisational team training literature to outline how health professions education can improve patient safety. We argue that health educators can improve training quality by intentionally encouraging errors during simulation-based team training. Preventable medical errors are inevitable, but encouraging errors in low-risk settings like simulation can allow teams to have better emotional control and foresight to manage the situation if it occurs again with live patients. Our paper outlines an innovative approach for delivering team training.

Keywords: Medical error, measurement/epidemiology; Organizational theory; Simulation; Team training.

MeSH terms

  • Administrative Personnel / education*
  • Administrative Personnel / psychology
  • Behavior Control
  • Humans
  • Medical Errors / prevention & control*
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Patient Simulation
  • Safety Management*
  • Systems Integration
  • Transfer, Psychology*