“No healthcare professional wants to harm patients but we still have a long way to go to drive improvements to create safer clinical systems”
Dr James Mountford, Director of Clincial Quality, UCL Partners
We are currently working with UCL partners and University College London Hospital NHS Foundation Trust supporting the design and delivery of a pilot programme for a multi-professional group of undergraduate healthcare professionals. In order to emphasise the direct consequences of safety and quality improvement, each session began with a patient story using films from our growing library.
The three-day programme covered aspects of what was described as the hitherto “hidden curriculum” and in particular focused on practical skills and approaches that can improve safety.
Dr Jean McEwan, Sub-Dean for UCL Medical School and UCLH Director of Undergraduate Medical Education said
“The films from PATIENTSTORIES provided a powerful and poignant reminder of the real human consequences of error in healthcare. We used Beth’s story to set the context for the beginning of our pilot study of undergraduate multi-professional learning about medical errors. This powerful narrative illustrates the wide reaching effects of errors, and the personal perspective made the situation real, and a responsibility of everyone in healthcare professions. All of the students were moved and were able to recognise the importance of the subsequent teaching and learning they undertook.
“Medical students and junior doctors work far fewer hours than in the past and while we hope that will reduce errors due to tiredness, it does reduce the personal experience that they have. Rather than virtual (imaginary) patients, the shared stories of real patients can be used for case study of good practice, as well as review of errors: errors in knowledge, understanding or communication.”
Dr James Mountford, Director of Clinical Quality for UCL Partners who was a lead designer for the programme said
“Undergraduate healthcare professionals have a key role to play in leading change. Not only are they the professional leaders of the future but by voluntarily participating in this pilot programme, our delegates are already demonstrating leadership qualities within their peer group. We want them to feel empowered to use that position to effect change now.”
Of the 20 particpants in the pilot programme 15 rated the PATIENTSTORIES contribution as “excellent” with 4 rating them as “good”.
A full evaluation of the pilot programme is being conducted and a BMJ publication is planned.