Medical Errors Education: A Prospective Study of a New Educational Tool

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Medical errors training is an important yet often overlooked aspect of medical education. A medical errors educational session was developed for rotating medical students (MSs) with prospective analysis of the educational tool. Students completed the same 12-question test before and after the educational session and a long-term posttest 1 to 12 months later. Control students who did not take part in the session completed the test twice with a 6-month interval. In all, 51 students completed a pretest and a short-term posttest, and 35 students completed a long-term posttest. Test scores for the study group increased significantly from a pretest mean of 29.3% to a short-term posttest mean of 73.7% (P < .001) and a long-term posttest mean of 49.1% (P < .001). Long-term test scores for 24 control group students were significantly lower (P < .001). This brief educational intervention led to statistically significant improved performance in general understanding of medical errors and could be a useful tool to enhance MS awareness and proactive handling of medical errors.

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