For the second year in a row, The Johns Hopkins University will lead a free online course, The Science of Safety in Healthcare, which begins June 2 and continues for five weeks. If you have ever wanted an introduction to patient safety concepts—or have colleagues with interest—this five-week course is a great opportunity.
Transforming our health care system demands that everyone—from the front lines to c-suite—have a common understanding of the science of how harm occurs and how to prevent it. Massively open online courses (MOOCs) such as this have promise to spread those lessons.
Last year’s course was a great success, with thousands of students energized around this topic. We've improved on that curriculum by re-shooting videos from that first session in higher quality. We will also introduce new topics such as adverse-event reporting and engaging families in patient care.
Also new is the fact that Albert Wu, an internist and internationally recognized patient safety expert from Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health, will be joining Cheryl Dennison Himmelfarb, of our School of Nursing, and me in teaching the course. Wu is a leading voice on such topics as disclosing adverse events, providing support for health care professionals who are involved in medical errors, and health service and outcomes research.
MOOCs such as this are a great experiment in higher education, bringing programs for free to thousands of people at a time. And while they historically have offered no academic or continuing education credit, that is beginning to change. This year’s patient safety course, for example, will now offer continuing nursing education credits for a fee for those who wish to pursue them.