QSEN Corner

Thank you for teaching students about
Quality and Safety in Healthcare!

Together we are leading the crusade against errors in healthcare!




Teach both the art of presenting and reflecting in one fell swoop! Check out this strategy to teach students how to present data using information technology and how to reflect on the data using the LEARN steps.


Speeding Up Team Learning A fantastic article by Edmondson, Bohmer and Pisano demonstrating what it takes to have an effective learning team. The most effective teams shared these three characteristics: the teams were designed for learning, leaders motivated their team members, and the leaders created a psychologically safe environment in which to learn. So many applications for the classroom. This is somewhat dated but very pertinent to today!


JUST RELEASED: TeamSTEPPS ® 2.0 Communication in teams is important to the delivery of quality, safe care. Are you TeamSTEPPS certified? You’ll want to check out this newly revised version. The TeamSTEPPS curriculum is an evidence based teamwork system. A newly revised TeamSTEPPS curriculum is available online and in DVD format.


TeamSTEPPS® Primary Care Version Are you teaching nurses about Patient Care Coordinator roles? The materials here are available to medical offices wishing to apply the TeamSTEPPS principles in their practice settings.


Interprofessional Education  An informative article concerning interprofessional education in team communication and its effect on safety.


Teamwork and Collaboration This gave me chills and I think it will you as well.  We have long known the importance of keeping patients out of the hospital. We’ve known the way to do that is to assess their life outside of the hospital and address the issues. Read this article in the Washington Post about how physician training is changing to incorporate more education about health-care delivery, population health, and how to support patients in being healthy.


Teamwork and Collaboration Evaluation Tools: Would you like to be able to determine whether your students are competent in teamwork and collaboration? Do you need a tool to measure teamwork and collaboration outcomes for a research study?

Check out this table identifying numerous tools used to measure teamwork & collaboration. THANK YOU QSEN Team!! This is a great resource!


Did you know that QSEN has created a Student Resource page on their site? It is “A page dedicated to Quality and Safety from the Nursing Student Perspective.” It consists of an interactive blog, related resources, news and information. How cool is that?  (Yes, there are a few glitches on the site but I’m sure they’ll be fixed in no time.)

Encouraging student conversations about quality and safety in healthcare is paramount to the success of this movement. Thank you QSEN for making your site student friendly.

My mind is racing with what we could do with this resource. What would it take to team-up our students so that they were learning with and from nursing students in different parts of the country? Comparing quality improvement measures, discussing patient centered care experiences, developing evidence based practice projects…


Do you want to be a leader in healthcare Quality Improvement? Check out this MOOC from Case Western University!

Course Description: “The emphasis is on acquiring competence in quality improvement methods and teamwork and collaboration. The course will transform healthcare professionals to not only ‘do their work’, but also to ‘improve their work’.”

The faculty are gurus in this topic! Dr. Mary Dolansky, Dr. Shirley Moore & Dr. Mamta Shingh  Thank you Case Western for being vanguards in offering QSEN MOOCS.


Where can students, residents and faculty members take online courses to learn the foundations of improvement, safety, system design, and leadership? IHI’s Open School All courses are free to students, residents and faculty and available to professionals for a small, annual fee. Their goal is for schools and organizations to integrate the courses into their curricula and training programs. Some schools are requiring students to take the entire course while others are handpicking specific modules. Learn how schools and organizations are using these free modules



IHI Quality Improvement Project Road Map  Take a look at the systematic roadmap for QI Projects that’s provided here. Looking at this roadmap, I can see many potential uses in the classroom and even in our own lives as we take on the many projects that are ‘graciously offered’ to us as faculty.


QSEN Competency Evaluation Tools: Are you in the market for more tools to evaluate the other 5 competencies as well as systems thinking? Check out these

used to measure QSEN competencies.


Quality Improvement: Do you require students to complete occurrence reports when they make a medication error on their medication math tests? Faculty from Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing submitted a great Medication Error Reporting form to the QSEN website. I think it’s a great idea. Thank you for sharing this document Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing!  


What Would You Do to Improve Health Care? Check out the first IHI installment of “Blue Shirt on the Street”. The Editorial Director of IHI Open School interviews people on the street asking them what is the one thing they would do to improve health care. Interesting answers are given. Discussion questions for students are included underneath the video’s Learning Objectives.


Quality Improvement  I love this. If you’re on Twitter you will want to follow @QIWEAHSN for Quality Improvement updates. And if you aren’t on Twitter, consider jumping on. It’s a great way to discover the latest news about quality and safety in healthcare.



Quality Improvement What positive forces are compelling your team’s work forward? What forces may be holding your team back? This is a good IHI Open School whiteboard 3-minute video quickly demonstrating how to do a Force Field Analysis about improving processes that are hindering a team’s ability to make progress.

I can’t think of a team who wouldn’t benefit from this technique. Whether you work in a school, institution, or your team is your family unit. This technique opens communication and propels progress toward a successful outcome. It almost seems too simple.

Try it and let me know your results.  



The Lewis Blackman Videos This is a set of phenomenal videos about a horrific medical adverse event. The QSEN site has a faculty guide with suggestions for using the video to teach about patient-centered care, teamwork and collaboration, and safety. We use the first video in our pediatric course to introduce students to root cause analysis. We teach about RCA’s using PPT, show the video, and then break students into groups to do a RCA using a fishbone diagram. It has a true impact on the students.


Health Literacy Resources Galore! Over 1/3 of patients have limited health literacy, leading them toward inadequate healthcare.  Scroll down toward the end of the webpage and you will find a link to a 277 page toolkit that faculty can use to teach about health literacy and what health care providers can do about it. I used it in both undergraduate and undergraduate courses that I taught this semester.


QSEN Endorsed Curriculum Safe & Sound Nursing Tools for Patient and Family Engagement in Patient Centered Care is a hands-on workbook to guide nurses and nurse educators to teach a “safe and sound approach” to collaborate with the patient and family to improve patient outcomes.


(Just so you know: I have no stock in the products I have written about here. I saw them at QSEN and thought you’d want to know about these fantastic products.)

Patient Centered Care Teaching Strategy: Whether you’re responsible for staff or student education, teaching about the end of life can be difficult. Check out Carla Hunt’s teaching strategy, End-of-Life Simulation, on the QSEN website. Both, faculty and students evaluated the simulation as beneficial.


Patient Centered Care: How Can Providers Elicit Patient Perspectives and Respond with Empathy?  This is an IHI Open School video about how to improve patient encounters by asking questions, displaying empathy, and encouraging open dialogue. It includes instructions for facilitators to use in group settings.  


Patient Centered Care and Communication  I posted this on my Facebook page so you may have seen it. This is an amazing tribute about the value of nurses.  Powerful. You will want to watch it if you’re a nurse educator. And it’s also a good watch if you simply want to feel good or if you know a nurse.  Ways to use this in the classroom? Use it as a gateway into discussing patient centered care, empathy, professional boundaries and communication and then role play professional boundaries and communication.  


A Downward Spiral: A Case Study of Homelessness We know teaching students to care for the homeless is a must. This 5-star rated case study reflects the realities of how easily one slides down the slippery slope and becomes homeless. The case also outlines the healthcare needs of the homeless population. The case study comes replete with learning objectives and discussion questions. This case study could be used as an online assignment, an in-class assignment with discussion, or in post conference. It doesn’t get easier than this.


Check out this Evidence Based Practice resource! Duke University library hosts a self-paced EBP tutorial on their library website. Thanks Duke University for making our jobs a bit easier. No sense in re-inventing the wheel, right?


Safe Medication Practices! The latest information about consumer medication safety. Check out Medication Safety Tools in Tools and Resources. I think I might create a few case studies about patients who require education about their medication. I will assign students to use this website to create a teaching plan for their patient. Using some high-alert medications in the scenarios will be beneficial too.


Shadow Health I’m excited to be using Shadow Health this fall. The Digital Clinical Experiences this product offers can be used to teach students safe medication administration, effective communication,  thorough assessment techniques and so much more. I watched a product demonstration at QSEN and was blown out of the water.


Dr. Southwick gave an informative plenary presentation at the 2014 INACSL conference. His wife nearly died and he lost his leg to medical errors. He is on a crusade for healthcare safety. He co-authored Critically Ill: A 5-Point Plan to Cure Healthcare Delivery. His comparisons between athletics and healthcare teams makes for an interesting read.



Interprofessional Education  An informative article concerning interprofessional education in team communication and its effect on safety.


Anyone interested in safe healthcare? AHRQ has created a fact sheet of 30 (evidence based) Safe Practices for Better Health Care. I just thought of a way to use this list as a teaching strategy. We could assign students to investigate how these are being implemented in their institution and report in post-conference. What do you think?


Chasing Zero Video Wow! If you haven’t used this in class to teach the importance of systems and medication errors, you need to check it out. I had students watch this video at home followed by a 1-2 page reflection about the impact the video had on their understanding of systems and medication errors. Their responses were amazing.


I found a great book! “Case Studies in Patient Safety” by Johnson, Haskell and Barach is filled with true cases of impaired patient safety. Each case includes a case discussion and reflection questions.

to check it out.


Thousands of patients have been adversely affected by the misuse of single-dose/single-use and multiple-dose vials. The misuse of these vials has caused harm to individual patients through occurrences and outbreaks of bloodborne pathogens and associated infections, including hepatitis B and C virus, meningitis, and epidural abscesses. Adverse events caused by this misuse have occurred in both inpatient and outpatient settings, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).” Downright frightening! How might you use this information to develop case studies or simulations?

to read the full article.


Safety I love “how to” guides. Don’t you? There are numerous reports indicating that medication errors are one of the most common causes for injury in the hospitalized patient. Medication reconciliation is a system used to prevent adverse drug events by maintaining the most accurate list of all medications a patient is taking. This list is used to guide therapy.


The Institute for Healthcare Improvement has created a “How-to Guide: Prevent Adverse Drug Events by Implementing Medication Reconciliation to address medication reconciliation issues.  This guide explains how to implement the process of medication reconciliation at all transitions in care — admission, transfer, and discharge as well as in ambulatory care, physician offices and emergency departments. The guide addresses potential barriers to the medication reconciliation process and offers evidence based strategies to overcome the barriers.

There are many potential uses of this guide in the classroom as well in the clinical area:

  • Create case studies of medication errors and ask students to determine how the error may have been abated using the guide as a resource.
  • Role-play interprofessional communication regarding errors when it’s discovered by medication reconciliation.
  • Assign students to determine the medication reconciliation process on their units including how to obtain the patient’s medication list and report results in post conference.
  • Assign students to conduct chart audits using the system outlined in the guide: “How to Conduct a Medication Reconciliation Review.”



QSEN Conference Action Plack A tool for creating action plans to aid you in implementing the great strategies you will learn at the QSEN conference.


AACN QSEN Workshop Modules You’ll find interactive learning modules for nurse faculty in entry-level and graduate-level registered nursing programs. Faculty can earn CE’s for each QSEN competency-learning module.


I received an email from the QSEN Institute that featured three great teaching strategies. You may have received it too. Isn’t it great? If you didn’t receive it, check out the strategies here. You will want to notify the QSEN Institute if you’d like to be on their list. Thanks QSEN Institute!!



Nonverbals and their effect on how we think about ourselves and others. Amy Cuddy shares how body language shapes who you are. This is a must see and I would go as far as saying a MUST TEACH!



Disclosing Medical Errors Interesting article about the effects of physician nonverbal communication when disclosing medical errors.


Great Healthcare System Teaching Strategy  A clip and facilitator instructions from the award-winning documentary, Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare, are included on the IHI Open School website.


The Wright Tool Kit: QSEN Competency Integration in an On-Line RN-BSN Program Wow! If you have an RN to BSN program you will want to check this out. The kit comes complete with guides, checklists, examples of learning activities, templates for clinical and academic partners and so much more. Thank you Wright State University!


National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science The mission of this center is “promote the nationwide application of active learning techniques to the teaching of science, with a particular emphasis on case studies and problem-based learning.”

I discovered a great case study of a medication error at this site. We typically assign a case study to students who are absent from pediatric clinicals. I’m going to use at least some of this case study.

Constructive Criticism Tool You will want to have this tool in your hands when you ask your students questions about their thinking. It’s AMAZING!!!