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Year : 2000  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 27-36

The Quality of Australian Health Care Study: Implications for Education of Failure in Quality and Safety of Health Care

Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Newcastle, Australia

Correspondence Address:
John D Hamilton
Professor of Medicine and Assistant Dean Postgraduate Studies, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Newcastle, NSW 2308
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Medical and health professional education needs to renew regularly the perspective from which it defines curriculum. The theme of this paper is that the study of health service in action will identify educational priorities for any country with the particular aim of improving the quality of health care and the effectiveness of clinicians within the system of health care. The Quality of Australian Health Care Study is the largest study of its kind to date. It is a study of adverse outcomes in health care resulting from error. From a study of causes, circumstance and strategies for prevention an educational agenda emerges, dealing both with clinical aspects of care and the less well-documented role of system errors. Studies of system errors in industry and other high risk occupations and systems are now lending insight to issues of error and safety in health care. A new agenda for health professional curriculum is the study of health services in action— the anatomy, physiology and pathology of health systems. Eight educational priorities were recommended to the National Task Force to improve patient safety and quality of care. These are discussed together with a broad strategy for curriculum implementation. The need for a health system that supports and informs practitioners involved in clinical and system errors, the extension of training to incorporate health system managers, and the extension of the consideration of safety to public awareness are discussed.

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