Medical students benefit from learning about patient safety in an interprofessional team

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Abstract

CONTEXT

Safe clinical practice is inextricably linked to team-working. Delivering patient safety education interprofessionally heightens students' awareness of the importance of effective team-working for safe care and care delivery.

METHODS

We conducted a comparative study using mixed-method analysis among medical students learning about patient safety, either uni- or interprofessionally, towards the end of their training. Emphasis is placed on the detailed analysis of qualitative data relating to student perceptions of the event before and afterwards.

RESULTS

All medical students, whether working uni- or interprofessionally, increased their knowledge across all eight learning outcomes (P = 0.001). Although students said they felt more comfortable when learning alongside other medical students, those who learned with other disciplines gained added value from these interactions and were able to frame their thinking more clearly within the context of safe interprofessional team-working.

CONCLUSIONS

Designing a team-based patient safety event to take place towards the end of medical education can enable students to assimilate all aspects of their curriculum relevant to safety. The link between team factors and the safety agenda is increased when students learn interprofessionally.

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