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Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Patient safety education at Japanese nursing schools: results of a nationwide survey

Shoichi Maeda1*, Etsuko Kamishiraki2, Jay Starkey3 and Kazumasa Ehara4

Author Affiliations

1 Graduate School of Health Management, Keio University, 4411 Endo, Fujisawa, Kanagawa, 252-8530, Japan

2 Graduate School of Social Welfare, University of Kochi, 2751-1 Ike, Kochi City, Kochi, 781-8515, Japan

3 University of California, San Diego, Dept. of Internal Medicine, 200 W. Arbor Drive # 8425, San Diego, CA 92103-8425, USA

4 Graduate School of Health Care Sciences, Jikei Institute, 1-2-8 Miyahara Yodogawa-ku Osaka, 532-0003, Japan

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:416  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-416

Published: 17 October 2011



Patient safety education is becoming of worldwide interest and concern in the field of healthcare, particularly in the field of nursing. However, as elsewhere, little is known about the extent to which nursing schools have adopted patient safety education into their curricula. We conducted a nationwide survey to characterize patient safety education at nursing schools in Japan.


Response rate was 43% overall. Ninety percent of nursing schools have integrated the topic of patient safety education into their curricula. However, 30% reported devoting less than five hours to the topic. All schools use lecture based teaching methods while few used others, such as role playing. Topics related to medical error theory are widely taught, e.g. human factors and theories & models (Swiss Cheese Model, Heinrich's Law) while relatively few schools cover practical topics related to error analysis such as root cause analysis.


Most nursing schools in Japan cover the topic of patient safety, but the number of hours devoted is modest and teaching methods are suboptimal. Even so, national inclusion of patient safety education is a worthy, achievable goal.