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Improving Patient Safety by Enhancing Raising Concerns at Medical School

Gishen, FS; Johnson, L; Malik, N; (2018) Improving Patient Safety by Enhancing Raising Concerns at Medical School. BMC Medical Education , 18 (171) 10.1186/s12909-018-1281-4. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Doctors and medical students have a professional responsibility to raise concerns. Failure to raise concerns may compromise patient safety. It is widely known that medical students frequently encounter unprofessional behaviours in the workplace, but little is known about the barriers to raising concerns amongst medical students. This paper explores these issues and discusses some innovations in the medical undergraduate curriculum, offering a good practice model for other medical and healthcare curricula. We set out to ascertain the attitudes and experiences of medical students in relation to raising concerns. This data was then used to innovate the raising concerns curriculum, and access to the raising concerns system, in order to fundamentally improve patient safety and experience, as well as the student experience. METHODS: The authors conducted a mixed methods quantitative and qualitative research study. Research was based at a UK medical school and involved data collection using an anonymous, voluntary survey emailed to all medical students (n = 363) as well as voluntary attendance focus groups (n = 24) recruited by email. Both tools investigated student attitudes towards raising concerns and explored student ideas for solutions to improving the process. The focus group data was thematically analysed by three researchers. RESULTS: The authors identified five key themes which described medical student attitudes towards raising concerns. This article discusses these themes and the resulting work to enhance medical education within the medical school curriculum. CONCLUSIONS: More research is needed to further address the barriers that medical students find in raising concerns. However, despite being a single study in one UK medical school, the authors propose some changes which they hope may inspire other educators to build upon their raising concerns curricula to foster more transparent undergraduate cultures and ultimately improve patient experience and safety.

Type: Article
Title: Improving Patient Safety by Enhancing Raising Concerns at Medical School
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12909-018-1281-4
Publisher version: https://doi.org/110.1186/s12909-018-1281-4
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Keywords: Raising concerns, Patient safety, Whistleblowing, Curriculum development, Innovation, Medical school
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Learning and Leadership
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > UCL Medical School
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10049676
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