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90th Annual Meeting Abstracts

Assessment of a Surgical Patient Safety Curriculum for Medical Students
Ted A James, MD, *Brenda Barr, *Cate Nicholas, *Tania Bertch, MD, James Hebert, MD
University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT

Objective: Patient safety issues in surgery have received unprecedented public attention and scientific investigation. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the need, impact, and competency of medical students with respect to patient safety education in surgery.
Design: An evaluative assessment of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of an educational program in surgical patient safety.
Setting: Academic medical college affiliated with a tertiary care medical center.
Patients: Subjects were third-year medical students rotating on the surgery clerkship.
Interventions: One-day course consisting of a video vignette demonstrating an error during surgery, a didactic introducing fundamental concepts of patient safety promotion in surgery, and small group analysis of case scenarios with expert commentary.
Main Outcome Measures: A 5-point Likert scale assessed students' subjective rating of the value of the course. The students' ability to employ techniques of root cause analysis and systems-based applications was evaluated from performance on case scenarios and video vignette analysis.
Results: 19 students participated in the initial pilot project. 89% of students agreed/strongly agreed that the course was important to their overall education; 2% were neutral; and 0 disagreed/strongly disagreed. High level concordance existed between student assessment and expert commentary of case scenarios. All students were able to identify communication deficiencies as a main cause of error. 67% versus 89% of students applied root-cause analysis and systems implementation to the video vignette when comparing pre to post course performance respectively.
Conclusions: Students demonstrated a need for patient safety in surgery education, and valued the incorporation of this training into their curriculum. Medical students were able to comprehend and apply principles of patient safety and medical error prevention to surgical cases.


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