gms | German Medical Science

Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Medizinische Ausbildung (GMA)

27.09. - 29.09.2012, Aachen

Comprehensive Learning Effects of a Course on Patient Safety


  • corresponding author Karen Könings - Maastricht University, Maastricht, Niederlande
  • Richard Koopmans - Maastricht University, Maastricht, Niederlande
  • Cees Van der Vleuten - Maastricht University, Maastricht, Niederlande
  • Jeroen van Merriënboer - Maastricht University, Maastricht, Niederlande

Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Medizinische Ausbildung (GMA). Aachen, 27.-29.09.2012. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2012. DocP112

doi: 10.3205/12gma013, urn:nbn:de:0183-12gma0136

Published: September 18, 2012

© 2012 Könings et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Background: Improving patient safety is an extremely relevant topic in medicine. Training may contribute to limiting unsafety, but effects are often only evaluated on the lower levels of learning as defined by Kirkpatrick.

Summary of work: Effects of a course ‘Patient Safety’ for residents (N=29) were longitudinally measured on all four levels: satisfaction with the course, attitudes towards patient safety, behavioural intentions on communicating about errors, and patient safety culture in the own department.

Summary of results: Attitudes improved during the course, but effects disappeared three months later. Behavioural intentions changed over time with also long-term effects, especially on increased reporting unsafe situations in an error reporting system, but less on discussing errors with patients or supervisors. No effects on organisational level were found.

Conclusions: Evaluating the training on different levels showed differential effects. Long-lasting effects of a course on patient safety can be reached, although not yet on all levels. Behavioural intentions changed because of the course, but future research is needed for reaching sustainable effects on attitudes and affecting organisations.

Take-home messages: Evaluating a course on different levels of measurement improves insight in its effects, pointing to specific areas that need improvement in the course design [1], [2], [3], [4].


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