309.730.20 | AY 2013-2014 - Summer Term | 3 Credit(s)
  • Contact Information
    Albert Wu
    Diana Lock
  • Course Learning Objectives

    Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

    • Recognize the extent of problems in patient safety in medical care
    • Describe the role of various systems and factors in creating safety and in causing errors and adverse events
    • Discuss problems and issues in measuring and reporting safety
    • Demonstrate knowledge of the basics of conducting an incident investigation and disclosing an adverse event
    • Explore solutions to improve patient safety
  • Course Description
    Provides an introduction to the science of safety, and how it relates to problems with patient safety in health care. Explains the role of both individuals and systems in improving patient safety. Reviews institutional responses to adverse events, including the topics of risk management and medical malpractice. Emphasizes the importance of communication and teamwork. Students learn the basics of conducting an incident investigation, gain an understanding of the advantages and limitations of error reporting, learn how to disclose errors and adverse events, and learn models for improving safety in hospitals and other health care organizations from both the micro and macro points of view.
  • Intended Audience
    Pacific Rim DrPH cohort students only.
  • Methods of Assessment
    Final paper that will analyze a case and proposed potential solutions.
  • Required Text(s)

    Wachter RM. Understanding patient safety. New York (NY): McGraw-Hill Professional; 2012.

  • Course Schedule

    Please see the course Session for a full list of dates and items for this course.

  • Academic Ethics Code

    Students enrolled in the Bloomberg School of Public Health of The Johns Hopkins University assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the University's mission as an institution of higher education. A student is obligated to refrain from acts which he or she knows, or under the circumstances has reason to know, impair the academic integrity of the University. Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; knowingly furnishing false information to any agent of the University for inclusion in the academic record; violation of the rights and welfare of animal or human subjects in research; and misconduct as a member of either School or University committees or recognized groups or organizations.

  • Grading Policy

    Grades in this course are determined by the following:

    • Class participation - 10%
    • Group project and in-class presentation - 30%
    • Final paper - 60%
  • Disability Support Services
    If you are a student with a documented disability who requires an academic accommodation, please contact the Office of Student Life Services at 410-955-3034 or via email at