Medical students learn benefits of admitting mistakes
(31 July 2005: VIDYYA MEDICAL NEWS SERVICE) -- The Morchand Center for Clinical Competence at The Mount Sinai Medical Center has launched a new program for dealing with the issue of medical errors. The Program will train medical students, clinicians and other hospital personnel to effectively communicate with patients and family members when a medical error is made.
Mount Sinai has recognized that in order to improve patient safety, practitioners must learn from their mistakes. An important stage in the learning process is to shift away from the prevailing culture of defensiveness and blame and a move towards a culture of openness. The Medical Errors Program teaches practitioners to identify and communicate what went wrong and how to effectively issue an apology. Participants are evaluated on their ability to explain what happened, proposals for avoiding a similar mistake in the future, ability to accept responsibility and apologize appropriately and proficiency in dealing sensitively and professionally with a very a uncomfortable situation.
Through the use of professional actors trained to simulate patients, The Morchand Center trains medical students, clinicians and other hospital personnel to deal sensitively and appropriately with patients. Participants learn to interact and communicate more effectively thereby improving the quality of the care they provide.
The Center is comprised of seven realistic examination rooms each equipped with closed-circuit color television cameras and stereo microphones. The cameras and microphones are linked to an observation theater so that the simulated interactions can be monitored. The interactions can be watched in the observation theater while the student-patient encounter is taking place and also recorded for immediate or future analysis by students and faculty – an important part of the learning and evaluation process.
Since its inception in 1991, thousands of medical students and medical staff have honed their clinical skills and communication techniques by being professionally videotaped in a variety of simulated medical situations.
The Morchand Center offers a number of other successful programs including a second year clinical skills assessment program, third year clerkship program, fourth year clinical examination program as well as programs dealing with breaking bad news, ethical dilemmas in medicine, medical needs of culturally diverse populations, obtaining consent for an autopsy, geriatric palliative care, team training in geriatric care and educating patients about advance directives.
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