Improving Patient Safety - OT21

Improving Patient Safety

Practice Errors and Sentinel Events in Occupational and Physical Therapy

by Rebecca Martin, OTR/L, OTD
(4.3 / 306 ratings )

This course is credentialed for:
Occupational Therapy (0.10 AOTA CEU)

Price: $19.00
CE-PRO Price: $9.50


Humans drive healthcare systems, and humans make mistakes. Even the most well-educated, well-trained and dedicated professionals make errors. The Institute of Medicine defines medical error as “the failure of a planned action to be completed as intended or the use of a wrong plan to achieve an aim.” Whatever the mechanism, the consequences of an error can be significant. Hospital errors cause approximately 400,000 deaths each year in the U.S. While the nature of errors in occupational and physical therapy practice is less likely to lead to death, physical or psychological harm may occur and should always be considered significant.


The goal of this practice errors and sentinel events continuing education program is to define common practice errors in occupational and physical therapy and explore approaches for prevention. The Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goals will also be described, as they impact practice and service delivery models. After you study the information here, you will be able to:
  • Define practice errors and sentinel events most common in therapy practice
  • Identify strategies to reduce errors and improve patient safety
  • Describe the impact of errors on patients and providers
Content Level: Introductory
Instructional Method: Online Course — Narrative
Content Focus
Occupational Therapy Process 1: Outcomes
Professional Issues 2: Supervision
Professional Issues 3: Contemporary Issues and Trends
Accreditation Information
OnCourse Learning is an approved provider of continuing education for occupational therapists by the American Occupational Therapy Association.
OnCourse Learning is also accredited by the Florida Board of Occupational Therapy (provider # FBN 50-1489).

Course Originally Released on: 6/18/2010
Date of Most Recent Review: 10/21/2014
Course Termination/Update Date: 10/21/2017

Unless stated above, the planners and authors of this course have declared no relevant conflicts of interest that relate to this educational activity. OnCourse Learning guarantees this educational activity is free from bias.

Please see CE Course Instructions to learn how to earn CE credit for this module.


For Florida professionals:

This course completion will be electronically reported to CE Broker as required per Florida Statute 456.025(7). Click here to view your CE Broker transcript and check the status of your CE requirements with a FREE 7-day CE Broker trial subscription. It may take up to 24 hours for the course to appear on your CE Broker transcript.

It is now required that all CE is completed and reported to CE Broker before you renew your license. When you complete continuing education with us, OnCourse Learning will report your hours for you.

Read more about the new license renewal process at and claim your free Basic Account in CE Broker to see what has already been reported for you.

Please check the licenses/certifications section under my account (after logging in) to make sure you have entered a valid FL license number. This information is required for correct reporting of your course completions to CE Broker.

Sort By
Emily D - Fort Collins, CO  ·  Oct 21, 2016
Quick course to help remind how we are all responsible for patient safety. All common sense approaches that we are likely already practicing, but helps serve to make us more intentional and vigilant in everyday practice.
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Teresa B - Troy, AL  ·  Sep 28, 2016
This a very necessary and important course to improve and to save practice and patients. During the past 20 years I may have received brief descriptions of practice and documentation errors. This course should be mandatory annually.
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Julie B - Austin, TX  ·  Aug 29, 2016
not necessarily new info, but good to review & consider
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Rhodalen B - Fresh Meadows , NY  ·  Aug 28, 2016
It is perfect. I have to apply these preventive measures in my facility to prevent possible fall of the patient. im glad we have this topic.
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Melissa M - Doylestown, PA  ·  May 10, 2016
This course is helpful in highlighting the importance of education and communication between colleagues to decrease errors and maximize patient safety.
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Price: $19.00
CE-PRO Price: $9.50