With the aim to improve safety in health care, Erasmus University Medical Center and the National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR) have developed a pilot class on patient safety for aspiring doctors and nurses. This pilot class combines knowledge from aviation in the field of safety and teamwork which can be used directly in class discussions, for instance by looking at specific case studies from the hospital floor. The class focuses on safety culture, lessons learned from previous incidents and proactive risk assessment. Through this multidisciplinary, cross-medicine approach, students are trained to look at issues from different perspectives and to respond adequately.
By incorporating this class into the medical educational program, students can be made aware of the importance of safety at an early stage and can be provided with tools to improve safety at their future workplace. The class is given to a mixed group of both physicians and nurses in training, which reflects the team composition of professionals operating in hospitals. Pilot classes were held recently and initial reactions are very positive. It is expected that this pilot class will become part of the regular curriculum next year.