The taught component is composed of 8 Modules (4 per year) which include lectures, workshops, tutorials and Blackboard (an internet teaching tool) tasks. Each module consists of one week of full-time face-to-face teaching.
The programme consists of the following modules:
8. Options module. Students select one further module from a list of options, for example:
A. Theory and practice of learning and teaching
B. Medico-legal skills
C. The history of medicine and disease
D. The computer age
Each module provides a strong theoretical component and by the end of each module the student will be able to apply knowledge and skills gained to their clinical practice. Further details of each core module are as follows:
1. Introduction to quality and safety (top of page)
This module provides a framework for the programme, addressing key issues in healthcare and policy which impact on clinical practice as well as exploring the nature of the discipline and providing an outline of its components. The aim is to give participants an understanding of the wider background and historical perspective within which more detailed study will take place. In particular, this module includes the following: orientation to Imperial College, to Master’s study and introductory training session on the use of Blackboard, as well as research and general learning skills; key elements of NHS structure; important national initiatives (e.g. the Healthcare Commission, the National Patient Safety Agency, Modernising Medical Careers); the history of patient safety; and contributions of different disciplines, such as psychology, human factors and ergonomics, sociology, economics and management.
2. Research methods and applied statistics (top of page)
This module will provide a general overview of research methods of studies in healthcare and reinforce understanding of the importance of research for the evaluation of clinical practice. Research and learning skills associated with this module and the whole course commence at the beginning of the course in Module 1 and are added to each of the teaching components of the course. The following aspects are included in this course: theoretical and applied statistics; descriptive and inferential statistics; populations and samples.
3. Epidemiology and information(top of page)
This module explores the various sources of information available and methods used to study the problem of risk and safety in healthcare. Examples of information and methods available include: Trust information systems; use of routine data for monitoring quality and safety; structured record review for assessing clinical specialties; integrated risk management systems; and quality and safety indicators. Students will gain an insight into how effective use of such information can be applied to audit, clinical risk, professional development and information services, including links to clinical outcomes. Various reporting systems both within healthcare and in industry will be examined.
4. Understanding adverse events (top of page)
This module builds on the previous one. The London framework (http://www1.imperial.ac.uk/medicine/about/institutes/patientsafetyservicequality/cpssq_publications/resources_tools/) will be used to explore the various aspects of healthcare and how each contributes to quality and safety. Root Cause Analysis and other incident analysis tools will be used to enhance students’ understanding of the methods and tools available for reducing risk and improving quality and safety. Other aspects of this module include multi disciplinary teams, ergonomics and design, documentation and continuity of care, as well as prospective and proactive methods of risk reduction.
5. The aftermath of an incident (top of page)
This module covers a number of safety themes that are directly related to the effect of clinical incidents and adverse events on patients and staff. These themes explore research evidence, policy guidelines and current clinical practice on:
a) how healthcare professionals can effectively communicate information relating to risk to patients and their carers or relatives;
b) how adverse events and clinical incidents affect patients and their relatives;
c) how complaints and litigation are managed;
d) how patients and their carers or relatives can facilitate clinical safety and the role of health care professionals in supporting them to do so.
The effects of critical incidents and adverse events on staff are also highlighted along with coping strategies and support systems both for general and work-related stressors and those associated with critical incidents and adverse events.
6. Improving Safety, Implementing change (top of page)
This module brings together the various themes in the earlier modules and considers recent local, national and international initiatives to improve safety in healthcare. It explores lessons learned in other industries and provides sessions in which to explore change and how to manage change, including how to deal with those resisting new initiatives. Students will explore effective strategies, including the use of multi-dimensional approaches and technological solutions. Associated limitations and advantages will be explored, including current and potential safety mechanisms and alerts/alarms and the importance and transitory nature of culture.
7. System and organisational aspects of quality and safety (top of page)
This module emphasises the importance on how organisational aspects, including safety culture, affect quality and safety. In particular, there is a emphasis on leadership and on the practical issues of patient safety and focuses on a number of key themes, including medication error, infection control, surgical complications etc. It builds on previous modules and explores ways of using all aspects of the system to reduce the risk of such events including incorporating the patient or carer role as well as national initiatives (for example to reduce infections) and increase public awareness.