Virginia Mason Institute Introduces New Course on Preventing Never Events

SEATTLE, Sept. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Virginia Mason Institute's new course for health care leaders, Learning From Never Events: Aligning an Organization Around Safety, is designed to help organizations engage leaders and frontline staff in new ways to improve patient safety. A deeply reflective learning experience, the course doesn't simply study patient safety incidents. It explores, in a unique way, how health care systems and culture meet, and it helps leaders see how to best assess and improve organizational safety for patients.

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"This is the perfect experience for health care leaders who want to take the next step in significantly improving safety," said Rachel Wortman Morris, PhD, senior instructional designer at Virginia Mason Institute. "It's our most innovative course yet, featuring a very hands-on set of activities and a transparent environment in our training facility and in our hospital itself. Through real-time observations and guided simulations, leaders learn how to better assess the patient safety culture in their own organizations."

Henry Otero, MD, a faculty member who codesigned the course, added, "What Virginia Mason brings to the table is its leaders' ongoing practice of respect for each other and its focus on humble inquiry and greater teamwork to discover the barriers to safety." Throughout the course, participants experience how an organization's culture influences the outcomes -- both good and bad -- for patients and staff.

In the course's debut in August 2016, the focus on real-time learning was evident when one participant received an email that a never event had happened that morning at her organization. "We had just finished an intensive study about a never event at Virginia Mason," said Wortman Morris. "So, immediately our participants applied their new learnings to this current event. The fact that the participants came from different health care departments, and even different countries, made for a fascinating experience."

Learning From Never Events: Aligning an Organization Around Safety is open for limited enrollment in Virginia Mason Institute's training facility in Seattle in October 2016 and March 2017. For more information about this new course, go to or call (206) 341-1600.

Contact Elaine Riordan, Public Relations

Phone (206) 341-1600




Virginia Mason Institute

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