Policy, Safety, and Decision-Making

System Safety Engineering: OMED500

Department: MedStar Health

Instructor: Zach Hettinger, MD

Contact: Dr. Zach Hettinger; zach.hettinger@medicalhfe.org

Location: National Center for Human Factors Engineering in Healthcare

Duration: 4 weeks, Block 9 only. For March 2016, the course will be on Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday, from 10-12.

Max Number of Students: 15; Minimum of 5 students/block

Description: The purpose of this elective is to understand the science of human factors and system safety engineering in healthcare. Students will learn about the central concepts of human factors engineering and system safety engineering, which have the goal of creating safer, more efficient healthcare systems. Students will learn how factors such as training, devices, IT systems, policy, work culture, and environment impact safety culture, as well as the quality and timeliness of care, and how they can apply these concepts to their everyday practice of medicine and in their future leadership roles. The elective will be offered to a maximum of 15 fourth year medical students. Each group will meet for two hours per session, three sessions per week over a four week period. Initially, one elective per semester will be offered. The course director will facilitate two-part sessions. The first part of each session, lasting one hour, will consist of lectures from experts in the field of human factors engineering, risk management, patient safety, and system safety engineering, from within and outside of Georgetown University and MedStar Health. These lectures will be structured around actual illustrative case studies of accidents and incidents from the healthcare safety literature and will include case studies from other complex industries such as aviation. Students will learn the principles of human factors engineering and system safety engineering, and ways to apply these concepts within their own work domains. The second hour of each session will alternate between student-led discussion on a paper or article related to the session topics and group activities such as hands-on workshops. These activities and group discussion sessions facilitated by the course director will focus on current topics in the safety field, such as actual medical device evaluations, adverse event reviews, and other participatory learning exercises. Students will be required to read coordinating papers, articles, and book sections for each lecture topic, and be prepared to discuss these topics. One time during the course, each student will be asked to present an article either from the lay or academic press related to the topic of the session. Students will also visit a hospital or outpatient unit as part of a field experience to conduct a hazard analysis and identify potential safety issues, and will be required to write a short paper on their findings. As a final project, students will be divided into small groups to conduct a redesign of hospital unit, such as an emergency department, inpatient unit, surgical suite, or ICU, using the principles, methods, and techniques for improvement developed during the course. In the final course session, students will present their redesign to the class and lead a discussion about the pros and cons of their design from a safety standpoint. Students will be assessed for completeness of the concepts that they employed in this design as drawn from the lecture component of the course. Not open to visiting students.

Scientific Clinical Decision Making: OMED 506 NOT AVAILABLE 2015-2016

Department: Medicine

Instructor: Burton W. Lee, MD

Contact: Dr. Burton W. Lee

Location: Washington Hospital Center

Duration: 4 weeks

Max Number of Students: 8 students/block, Block 8 only, AY14-15

Description: This course on Principles of Scientific Clinical Decision Making starts by exploring the common sources of human cognitive errors and the fundamental concepts of numeracy, both of which are necessary to intelligently comprehend the scientific literature and make sound clinical decisions. The students will then learn how to critically appraise randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials and then appropriately apply the knowledge to clinical situations. The students will also learn how the soundness of clinical decisions can be adversely influenced by cognitive biases, conflicts of interest, group dynamics, financial and other incentives, altruism, and burnout. Students will independently prepare by reading over 80 primary research and review articles. The class will meet 12 times over the course of the block at the Washington Hospital Center to discuss each topic as a small group. Not open to visiting students.