UTHCT employees contribute to Web-based curriculum on patient safety designed for physicians

Monday, April 16, 2007

Several current and former faculty and staff at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler helped develop a new Web-based curriculum to promote safe health care prepared on behalf of the Texas Medical Association.

Jeffrey L. Levin, MD, MSPH, professor and chair of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at UTHSCT, was an associate editor for the curriculum, which is designed for medical students and practicing physicians.

Other contributing authors from UTHSCT included Billie Abram, a registered health information technician and a certified professional in healthcare quality and medical staff coordinator in Medical Staff Services; Steven Brown, MD, former chief medical officer; Sandra Fly, RN, director of Quality Services and a certified professional in healthcare quality; Joan Hall, quality consultant; Tony Hill, RN, MS, MBA, director of Environmental Health and Safety, Operations, and Biomedical Engineering and a certified healthcare safety professional and certified safety professional; and Donna Seery, quality consultant.

“The medical profession recognizes there are an excessive number of adverse patient outcomes because of patient safety issues. Health care providers are identifying situations that could lead to poor outcomes for patients and fixing them,” Dr. Levin said.

One way to create a safer environment for patients is to provide continuous and appropriate training for health care workers, he said. This new curriculum addresses critical issues in patient safety and was designed to analyze problems and suggest ways to reduce health care errors.

The curriculum has six modules, including sections on communications issues, evaluation and decision-making, treatment and medication, procedures and supervision, and fatigue and systems-based improvements.

UTHSCT faculty and staff developed the module on procedures and supervision. The entire curriculum is available on the TMA Web site.

“While the curriculum is designed for Texas physicians, it is general enough that it can help educate nurses, pharmacists, and other health care workers as well. It potentially could have a far-reaching impact,” Dr. Levin said.

NOTICE: Protected health information is subject to electronic disclosure.