Effects on incident reporting after educating residents in patient safety: a controlled study
- Equal contributors
1 Foreest Medical School, Medical Center Alkmaar, Wilhelminalaan 12, 1815JD Alkmaar, the Netherlands
2 EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Van der Boechorststraat 7, 1081BT Amsterdam, the Netherlands
3 NIVEL Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research, Otterstraat 118 - 124, 3500BN Utrecht, the Netherlands
4 Kennemer Gasthuis, Boerhaavelaan 22, 2035 RC Haarlem, the Netherlands
5 VU University Medical Center, Institute for Education and Training, Van der Boechorststraat 7, 1081BT Amsterdam, the Netherlands
BMC Health Services Research 2011, 11:335 doi:10.1186/1472-6963-11-335Published: 12 December 2011
Medical residents are key figures in delivering health care and an important target group for patient safety education. Reporting incidents is an important patient safety domain, as awareness of vulnerabilities could be a starting point for improvements. This study examined effects of patient safety education for residents on knowledge, skills, attitudes, intentions and behavior concerning incident reporting.
A controlled study with follow-up measurements was conducted. In 2007 and 2008 two patient safety courses for residents were organized. Residents from a comparable hospital acted as external controls. Data were collected in three ways: 1] questionnaires distributed before, immediately after and three months after the course, 2] incident reporting cards filled out by course participants during the course, and 3] residents' reporting data gathered from hospital incident reporting systems.
Forty-four residents attended the course and 32 were external controls. Positive changes in knowledge, skills and attitudes were found after the course. Residents' intentions to report incidents were positive at all measurements. Participants filled out 165 incident reporting cards, demonstrating the skills to notice incidents. Residents who had reported incidents before, reported more incidents after the course. However, the number of residents reporting incidents did not increase. An increase in reported incidents was registered by the reporting system of the intervention hospital.
Patient safety education can have immediate and long-term positive effects on knowledge, skills and attitudes, and modestly influence the reporting behavior of residents.