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UVA's "Creating a Culture of Safety" Program Fills An Urgent National Need for IP/PSQI Training

3D Gears Patient Safety

The "Creating a Culture of Safety" program was developed to bring clinically-relevant interprofessional patient safety and quality improvement training to graduate learners in the University of Virginia Schools of Nursing and Medicine. By bringing BSN-DNP students together with medical residents, we seek to prepare them to work in teams to address the complex healthcare needs, particularly for underserved rural populations and veterans with multiple chronic conditions. The curriculum integrates competencies from the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Essentials, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Milestones, Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC), and PSQI competency frameworks (links to all can be found in the RESOURCE section of this website). The curriculum builds longitudinally over the three years culminating in the design, implementation, assessment, presentation, and publication of interprofessional quality improvement projects.

3-Year Program Overview

"Creating a Culture of Safety" Program Overview

The UVA "Creating a Culture of Safety" program is designed to develop the competencies needed for interprofessional team-based patient safety and quality improvement (IP PSQI) initiatives. The program was first implemented in 2014. Since then, 3 cohorts of BSN-DNP students from acute care, primary care, and psych/mental health have joined 3 cohorts of internal medicine residents in completing the program. Interprofessional leadership and instruction is provided by faculty experts in teamwork and quality improvement from nursing, medicine, pharmacy, social work, business, public health, and healthcare administration.

The table below shows increasing DNP nursing student participation over three years.  An additional 24 medical residents also participated each year.

DNP Student Participation

1st Year Cohort

Returning (2nd year)

Returning Students (3rd year)

Total number of students in IPE PSQI curriculum

2014-2015 (Year 1)

7 n/a n/a 7

2015-16 (Year 2)

9 7 n/a 16

2016-17 (Year 3)

14 9 7 30

+32 Medical Residents each year

Curriculum Overview

Curriculum Overview

Session Types

"Creating a Culture of Safety" incorporated 5 session types (learning strategies). 

  • DNP/Resident PSQI WorkshopsPhoto of 8-page Curriculum Overview
  • DNP Brown Bag Seminars
  • Interprofessional Simulations
  • DNP Project Development Workshops
  • Expert Speaker Sessions

Sessions are identified and color-coded in the full 8-page Curriculum Overview PDF, which provides a comprehensive summary of the 3-year "Creating a Culture of Safety" Program.

"Inadequate preparation of health professionals for working together, especially in interprofessional teams, has been implicated in a range of adverse outcomes, including lower provider and patient satisfaction, greater numbers of medical errors and other patient safety issues, low workforce retention, system inefficiencies resulting in higher costs, and suboptimal community engagement."

Institute of Medicine, Measuring the Impact of IPE on Collaborative Practice and Patient Outcomes, 2015