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Patient safety superheroes in training: using a comic book to teach patient safety to residents

Abstract

Problem Medical errors are a health burden. Residents must be aware of patient safety threats and have confidence reporting concerns. Creative modalities for teaching such content (eg, simulation) are resource intensive, while lectures do not assimilate clinical practice. Therefore, the objective of this project was to assess the use of a comic book to train Internal Medicine residents to identify patient safety issues. We report acceptability of the teaching tool and awareness and confidence in identifying patient safety issues using a comic book.

Approach Residents from the Medical College of Wisconsin participated in a 1-hour session to identify 24 safety topics in a comic book. The primary outcomes were awareness and confidence. Engagement and enjoyment were also measured as forms of acceptability of the tool. Comparisons were made using Fisher’s exact tests and paired t-tests for awareness questions and Fisher’s exact tests for confidence questions. Analyses were performed using SAS V.9.4.

Outcomes Fifty participants were included in the analyses. Proportions in each awareness category were significantly different on post-test in 21 of 24 topics included. The confidence in both identifying safety topics (55.1% precourse to 96% postcourse) and reporting them (35.42%–90%) increased significantly after the curriculum. 90% found the tool enjoyable and 98% found the tool engaging.

Next steps This curriculum was successful in increasing resident awareness and confidence regarding patient safety. The use of a comic book was acceptable to residents. Future directions include digital conversion of the curriculum and expansion to include multiple settings within the hospital.

  • patient safety
  • medical education
  • hospital medicine
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