In 2012, the Institute for Health Care Improvement and two other groups conducted a study as part of the Retooling for Quality and Safety initiative. The study concluded that integration of interprofessional teamwork should be included in the curricula of both medical and nursing schools in an effort to prevent medical errors. The University of Missouri and five other universities participated in the study.

One of the most important aspects of this study was that many of the universities gave students the chance to work with actual patients in a hospital setting. This gave the students an opportunity to apply some of the safety concepts that would help prevent medical errors. The University of Missouri, for example, allowed students to assess the risk of falling, which is the most common hospital injury. The patient charts were reviewed by students from different professional tracks and each patient was given a unique fall prevention plan.

Another issue addressed by the study was the lack of medical and nursing school faculty who are trained to teach about improvement in patient care. The study indicates that it’s important for every academic health program to have enough instructors who are well-versed in teaching about improvement in patient care.

It is a proactive move for medical and nursing schools to try and improve patient care, especially in the area of falls in the hospital. However, should a family member have an accidental fall while in the hospital, it may be necessary to consult an experienced medical malpractice attorney. An attorney can inform families of their rights regarding medical errors and accidents that can have a lasting impact on a patient’s well-being.

Source: News Medical, Researchers describe how medical and nursing schools can help prevent potentially deadly errors, Dec. 18, 2012