“Consciously avoiding errors”: Participant about Focus on Patient Safety certificate program

Katja Severa is the deputy quality management officer at Klinikum Forchheim-Fränkische Schweiz – and now also a patient safety officer. She was one of the first participants in the part-time Certificate Program “Focus on Patient Safety: Actively Shaping Change” at the TUM Institute for LifeLong Learning. In the article, she shares her impression of the seminar and explains why the topic of patient safety is more relevant than ever.

“Especially in surgery, where work is often done under time pressure and with multiple, changing staff members, good patient safety management can prevent errors. I also think of the intraclinical resuscitations on other wards; where the teams are certainly never to be found in the same composition,” reports Katja Severa after the certificate course.

In addition, technical systems in hospitals are becoming more and more complex, processes change frequently – so there are many situations in which errors can occur that can be dangerous for team members and patients. Not to mention an increasing workload in wards due to the Corona pandemic. Patient safety is therefore becoming more important than ever.

Foto: Peter Kick

Foto: Peter Kick

The “human factor”: solution-oriented handling of risks

The certificate program “Focus on Patient Safety,” which is a joint project of the Medical Faculty of the Technical University of Munich, the Klinikum rechts der Isar, the Klinikum St. Elisabeth Straubing and Lufthansa Aviation Training, focused primarily on the “human factor”. During the three attendance blocks, questions were answered like: How, for example, can a safety culture be established in the clinical environment; how can risks in the area of patient safety be dealt with in a solution-oriented manner?

“For me, it was very interesting to learn about the different factors of factual and human performance prerequisites and their effects. The change in the perception of different employees when the stress level is increased and the resulting increased risk of committing errors was also impressive,” says Katja Severa.

Transferring findings from aviation to medicine

A subsection of the seminar: Insights from the high-security organization of aviation and how they can be transferred to the medical field. This is a method that has not yet been applied in this way in any continuing education program: Checklists and checkpoints help employees who are new to a situation identify risks, for example.

“In medicine, I would like to see more consistent processing of checklists throughout various processes. Especially when the process is actually clear or several employees from different professions are involved, omissions tend to creep in because everyone relies on the other,” says Katja Severa. Her appeal: “Until there is an awareness of an open error culture, as there has been for a long time in aviation, there is still a long way to go in medicine, not only in the operating room, but also among executives.”

We sincerely thank Ms. Severa for the interview and wish her every success in her work as a patient safety officer.

Register now for implementation from September 2022

The “Focus on Patient Safety” certificate program will be offered again starting in September 2022, and applications are being accepted now. Further information and registration details can be found here.

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