HRO Corner: The New Modules of the Patient Safety Professional Course
Col. Edward Yackel, senior staff officer in the U.S. Army Medical Command Patient Safety, Clinical Assurance Performance Directorate, engages with participants during the Patient Safety Professional course.
TRansforming the Military Health System (MHS) into a high reliability organization (HRO) requires an understanding of patient safety, quality, and process improvement principles and how they support the larger HRO mission. As part of this transformational journey, three modules of the Patient Safety Professional (PS Prof) course that were redesigned to make a clear connection between patient safety and high reliability principles debuted during the course offering in October 2016. The new subject matter reflects the MHS's increased emphasis on high reliability principles and practices as it progresses on its journey to transform to an HRO.
The Patient Safety and High Reliability Concepts; Safety Culture; and Patient Engagement modules are part of the award-winning, state-of-the-art PS Prof course that provides an overview of patient safety standards, practices and resources. The PS Prof course is designed to help participants conceptualize the HRO Model and make it easier for patient safety professionals to talk about patient safety with their colleagues, leadership and their commanding officers. In addition to the classroom portion of the course, participants complete six hours of pre-work prior to attending the course and take part in virtual (online) continuing professional development and feedback sessions for 12 months following the course.
During the course, participants become familiar with the MHS's HRO guiding principles and the relationship between these principles and industry-recognized patient safety competencies and standards. Through group discussion and problem-solving activities as well as individual reflection, participants identify their roles in supporting patient safety and HRO activities in their facilities. Participants use this insight to set short- and long-term goals to pursue after training is complete.
The PS Prof Course is more than just three days of residential training—it’s part of a full spectrum Patient Safety Professional Program that includes course pre-work and access to a secured Patient Safety Learning Center (Community of Interest); two-day residential TapRooT® training with associated post-training webinars; follow-on coaching; and access to numerous tools and resources available on demand to reinforce and support all patient safety improvement initiatives.
Patient Safety and High Reliability Concepts Module
Formerly two separate lessons, the Patient Safety and High Reliability Concepts module combines material from the former Patient Safety Principles, Standards and Practices lesson and the Elements of a Patient Safety Program lesson. This module provides an overview of patient safety movement milestones and how they affect patient safety professionals today.
Participants are taught about the components of a proactive patient safety program and ways to implement best practices. Strategies for remaining current with changes in regulations and evidence-based best practices are highlighted. The Patient Safety and High Reliability Concepts module is key in providing a foundational understanding linking concepts from patient safety to parallel concepts from the MHS’s HRO guiding principles.
Safety Culture Module
The Safety Culture module incorporates both concepts of high reliability and the latest data from the 2016 MHS Patient Safety Culture Survey (Culture Survey). This module focuses on the relationship between safety culture and high reliability and the roles, responsibilities and behaviors that lead to culture change. During this module, participants learn how to drill down to their facility’s Culture Survey data and analyze the data and identify areas for improvement. Methods for measuring safety culture and using data to implement improvements are also highlighted. Resources internal to the DoD as well as external resources supporting safety culture and its assessment round out the information participants need to effect change in their facilities.
Patient Engagement Module
The Patient Engagement module offers opportunities for participants to learn from others across the services by sharing lessons learned to foster a patient-centered culture, which is a key element of the HRO model. Participants learn how patient engagement relates to patient experience and patient safety and more specifically the effect patient engagement can have on the key outcomes for patients and the health care organization. This module assists participants in preparing for patient engagement challenges and fine-tuning their understanding of their role as a patient safety professional in supporting patient and family engagement.
Guest speakers demonstrate how implementing patient safety practices can move each facility closer toward the MHS's HRO goal. As part of the Patient Engagement module during the course offering in October, guest speaker Col. John Oh, chief of preventive medicine with the Air Force Medical Support Agency, discussed his work with the Air Force Trusted Care program. The Army’s Col. Edward Yackel, senior staff officer in the U.S. Army Medical Command Patient Safety, Clinical Assurance Performance Directorate, shared his insights on developing a culture of safety during the Safety Culture module.
Patient safety professionals who are responsible for patient safety in their facilities and have been in their role less than one year are encouraged to take the five-day, interactive in-person course. The course is offered three times a year and available to patient safety professionals in military treatment facilities all over the world. In the past, participants from England, Germany, Guam, Japan and Korea have completed the course.
Over 300 patient safety managers (PSMs) and other staff across the MHS have previously completed the course. Following the training, 90 percent of PSMs report they strongly agree they feel more confident in their ability to perform effectively in their roles and 99 percent of participants report their intention to apply what they learned on the job.
The three updated modules are available on the Patient Safety Learning Center for those who have previously completed and course and are interested in the new material.
To register and attend the PS Prof course, approval from the appropriate military service’s patient safety representative is required. To learn more about upcoming PS Prof sessions, please contact us.
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