gms | German Medical Science

4th Research in Medical Education (RIME) Symposium 2015

19.03-21.03.2015, München

Facilitating communication competency: an interprofessional seminar on medical error communication

Meeting Abstract

4th Research in Medical Education (RIME) Symposium 2015. München, 19.-21.03.2015. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2015. DocP31

doi: 10.3205/15rime42, urn:nbn:de:0183-15rime420

Published: March 12, 2015

© 2015 Berger 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. See license information at



Introduction: International trends in medical education highlight the need for competency-based curricula in order to prepare students to contribute effectively in future healthcare teams. Competency frameworks [1], [2], [3], [4] are available to guide curriculum development and include core competencies such as communication and collaboration, which will also play an important role in the German national competence-based catalogue of learning objectives for medical education (NKLM). To date, little evidence is available on facilitating communication competence in an interprofessional education setting in Germany.

Method: An interprofessional seminar on medical error communication was offered in the winter semester 2014/2015, with interprofessional teaching teams facilitating the learning process. Structured exercises and mini role-plays reflecting ‘real world’ situations were conducted and students had an opportunity for feedback and reflection after each activity. At the end of the seminar, a patient safety observation assignment was set and a formal debriefing occurred six weeks later. Twenty-four students took part from five professions including medicine, nursing, physiotherapy, laboratory science, and orthoptics. The seminar was evaluated electronically via EvaSys using a Likert scale from 1 (most negative) to 5 (most positive).

Results; Evaluation showed a positive impact. For active learning related to communication of medical errors, 55.6% of respondents gave a score of 4 and a further 22.2% a score of 5 (mean value 4.11). Regarding the ability to self-reflect on attitudes to patient safety and communication of error, 55% of respondents gave a score of 4 and a further 12.5% a score of 5 (mean value 3.89). Finalised results will be reported at the conference.

Discussion: Communication and collaboration competence development for health care students is being actively promoted in the interprofessional seminar on medical error communication at Heidelberg Medical Faculty with integration in two curricula.


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World Health Organization. Framework for Action on Interprofessional Education & Collaborative Practice. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2010.