Patient safety

Introductory online course for patient safety research

A series of free online courses were broadcasted (April and May 2010) for health care professionals and researchers interested in learning the basic components of patient safety research. Eight sessions are available to download below, as a video (presentation and audio) or as separated presentations and audio resources.

Patient safety research introductory online course is also available in in other languages:


Session 1: Introduction

This first session introduces the concept of "patient safety". Starting from the definition of patient safety, topical global issues are explained and supported by practical examples.


Session 2: Research cycle

In this session, we focus on "research" in patient safety. Five important aspects of the research cycle will be explained: “measuring harm”, “understanding causes”, “identifying solutions”, “evaluating impact” and “translating evidence into safer health care”.


Session 3: Measuring harm

Measuring what goes wrong in health care includes counting how many patients are harmed or killed each year, and from what types of adverse events. This session introduces methods for measuring harm.


Session 4: Underlying causes

Once priority areas have been identified, the next step is to understand the underlying causes of adverse events that lead to patient harm. This session explains several methods, using practical examples.


Session 5: Identifying solutions

To improve patient safety, solutions are needed that tackle the underlying causes of unsafe care. In this session we explain how we can design solutions and implement them.


Session 6: Evaluating impact

It is crucial to evaluate the effectiveness of solutions in real-life settings in terms of their impact, acceptability and affordability. In this session, several methods for evaluation are introduced.


Session 7: Translating evidence into safer care

The final step in the research cycle is to understand how research findings can be translated into practice.


Session 8: Conclusion

In this last session, we review the previous sessions, reflecting on questions and comments from the participants. We also suggest ways to advance learning and where to find other useful resources for future study.