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CPSI Share                                                  
6/3/2014 6:00 PM

An update on the Canadian Patient Safety Institute mapping project

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute Safety Competencies define the core competencies required of all Canadian frontline healthcare providers for the provision of safe care. To support the process of incorporating the Safety Competencies into curricula and to encourage consistency across faculties and programs, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute has developed an IT-based mapping process.

The software application has been adapted to map a range of professions, curricular content, educational outcomes and learning objectives of both the Safety Competencies and the Interprofessional Care Competencies developed by the Canadian Interprofessional Healthcare Collaborative (CIHC). In addition, the software provides the ability to map to curricula of profession-specific accreditation standards, educational outcomes and national competencies.

For medicine, the software has incorporated the capacity to link curricular content to the CanMeds competencies at a detailed level.  For pharmacy, similar functionality enables mapping to the Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada’s (AFPC) Education Outcomes for Entry-to-Practice Pharmacy Programs.

Currently, 13 faculties are in the process or have had their curricula mapped through this process to ensure appropriate emphasis on the teaching and learning of patient safety and to determine the appropriateness of including the Safety Competencies into their programs.  The faculties/programs participating include the Faculties of Pharmacy from the Universities of Memorial, Waterloo, Montreal, Manitoba and Toronto; Faculties of Medicine from Dalhousie, McGill, Ottawa and the College of Medicine, Saskatchewan; and the Schools of Nursing at Queen’s University, Dalhousie, Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST), and the University of Saskatchewan.

Olavo Fernandes, Director of Pharmacy-Clinical, University Health Network says that prior to the e-mapping tool, he used a manual process to map the Safety Competencies to the University of Toronto pharmacy program, which was very time-consuming. “The mapping software helps to identify gaps and provides a systematic way to ensure continuity across programs and the ability to learn from others. We can now look at other health disciplines and learn how the Safety Competencies are being incorporated into their curricula.” 

Dr. Amy Nakajima incorporates the safety domains of teamwork, communications, and managing risks into her teaching of third year medical students at the University of Ottawa. She will be providing faculty development to increase the teaching capacity to incorporate the Safety Competencies into medical education.  “The Safety Competencies provide the theoretical framework that we need to translate safety and quality into day-to-day teaching in the clinical environment,” says Dr. Nakajima. “Our patients expect safe, ethical care and it is our duty to provide it.”

The Safety Competencies are fundamental and underpin what needs to be covered in a curriculum to ensure health professional learn what they need to know in the science of safety,” says Deborah Tregunno, Associate Professor, Queen’s University School of Nursing. “The Safety Competencies provide structure and a basis to start a conversation that translates the learning into effective practice.”

“Mapping of the Safety Competencies to the CanMEDs Framework helps to ensure that medical education includes content that addresses patient safety,” says Dr. Sherissa Microys, Ottawa Hospital (Departments of Anesthesiology and Critical Care) and Assistant Professor, University of Ottawa. “The CanMEDs 2015 Framework will articulate the competencies needed for all domains of medical practice and ultimately provide a comprehensive foundation for medical education.”

The Safety Competencies provide a framework of six core domains of abilities that are shared by all healthcare professionals. For more information on the Safety Competencies Framework and e-mapping tool visit and click on Tools and Resources.