Patient Safety and Quality Track

Carolyn K Holland
Department: Department of Emergency Medicine

Carolyn K Holland M.D., M.Ed., FACEP, FAAP

Clinical Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Quality and Safety, Department of Emergency Medicine; Division Chief and Interim Fellowship Program Director, Pediatric Emergency Medicine; Affiliate Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics; Me
Michele N Lossius

Michele N Lossius M.D., F.A.A.P.

Professor And Division Chief For Pediatric Hospital Medicine

Student Limit of 10


The Patient Safety and Quality Track is intended to prepare students to participate in one of the key transformative movements in American healthcare: discovering innovative ways to improve the safety, timeliness, effectiveness, respectfulness, efficiency, and equity of medical care. Students participate in a regular series of seminars focused on national quality of care initiatives, methods of patient safety investigation, analysis of adverse events, and ultimately the implementation and dissemination of innovative strategies that benefit patients. Students have the opportunity to observe and participate in “real world” local quality improvement initiatives alongside leaders in the UF Health Academic Medical Center from across a variety of professions. The course culminates in the completion of a collaborative project that addresses a local challenge at UFHealth in the area of patient safety or quality improvement.

Overall Goals and Objectives

  • Understand the incidence, nature, and key root causes of medical adverse events.
  • Understand high risk points for communication failure in clinical care – particularly among differing health professions – and describe techniques that can help prevent communication failure in medical settings.
  • Analyze the effectiveness and impact of the medical malpractice tort system in patient safety.
  • Describe the implications of accountability when responding to adverse patient safety events.
  • Understand the importance of inteprofessional teamwork in solving problems in quality improvement and patient safety.
  • Identify patient safety and quality issues most likely to be encountered in students’ potential future areas of specialization.
  • Conduct a collaborative project related to patient safety and/or quality improvement.


  • Creation of a personalized learning plan in collaboration with the Course Director to include identification of student’s area of desired focus in safety and/or quality
  • Completion of assigned portions of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Open School Curriculum
  • Attendance at all required seminars
  • Completion and presentation of collaborative project related to patient safety and/or quality improvement

Outcomes and Assessment

Students will attend seminars focused on key case studies that illustrate concepts required for the successful understanding of current challenges in patient safety and quality improvement. There will be ample opportunity to interact with local experts and identify common areas of interest for the student group. Students will participate in at least one UF Health Quality Improvement Task Force/Work Group during the course. Students will complete a collaborative project that may be suitable for dissemination in abstract format at a local or national forum. The project must be submitted in written form (2 pages maximum) in addition to oral presentation format.

The project will be assessed based upon:

  • Background/Scope of the problem being addressed
  • Specific question for analysis
  • Discussion of an approach to address the problem
  • Innovation of the approach
  • Discussion of how the intervention should be evaluated for effectiveness
  • Evidence of team effort
  • Quality of written or oral presentation at local, regional, or national conference.

Timeline for Completion of Key Milestones

MS-2 (Fall Semester)

  1. Develop individualized learning plan with Course Director; identify faculty mentor
  2. Attend introductory group seminar to discuss course objectives, mutual areas of interest
  3. Complete assigned portions of IHI Open School Curriculum (independent study, online)
  4. Attend 1 to 2 additional Thursday afternoon group seminar meetings to review progress in Open School, discuss group interests.

MS-2 (Spring Semester)

  1. Participate in at least two UFHealth Quality Improvement Task Force meetings
  2. Meet monthly with Course Director or Faculty Mentor
  3. Attend 1 to 2 Thursday afternoon group seminar meetings to debrief task force involvement and explore potential collaborative group project ideas


  1. Meet quarterly with Course Director or Faculty Mentor
  2. Attend up to 2 group seminar meetings to correlate clinical experiences with course work and decide upon collaborative project theme


  1. Meet quarterly with Course Director or Faculty Mentor
  2. Complete collaborative project
  3. Present collaborative project with written report and oral presentation