Improving Patient Safety - PT21

Improving Patient Safety

Practice Errors and Sentinel Events in Occupational and Physical Therapy

by Kaitlin MacDonald, MOT, OTR/L and Susan Ann Swinehart, OTD, MS, BA/OT
(4.4 / 548 ratings )

This course is credentialed for:
Physical Therapy (1.00 Hour(s))

Price: $19.00
CE-PRO Price: $9.50


Safe, reliable care is the expectation of patients, family, and staff. While it is impossible to eliminate medical errors, that is the goal. In 1996, The Joint Commission established a sentinel event policy; this was done to help healthcare facilities and providers learn from adverse events, which would in turn lead to improved patient safety. Subsequent to the sentinel event policy, national patient safety systems and goals have been established. The Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and 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.” This course seeks to identify patient safety categories, systems, and goals.


The goal of this patient safety continuing education program is to define, according to The Joint Commission, sentinel safety events, national patient safety goals, and patient safety systems. These will be described, as they affect practice and service delivery models. After studying the information presented here, you will be able to:
  • Define sentinel safety events
  • Identify patient safety goals and examples of a therapist’s response
  • Describe harm to patients and healthcare providers
  • Describe establishing a clinical atmosphere that promotes patient safety

Approval Information
OnCourse Learning is an approved sponsor by The New York State Education Department of Continuing Education for Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants from 10/21/09 to 10/20/18.
This activity is provided by the TX Board of PT Examiners Accredited Provider GED012010TPTA2012004 for 01/01/2010 to 01/31/2013; 1601004 for 02/01/2013 to 01/31/2016; and 1902004TX for 02/01/2016 to 01/31/2019 and meets continuing competence requirements for physical therapist and physical therapist assistant licensure renewal in Texas. The assignment of Texas PT CCUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by TPTA or TBPTE.
OnCourse Learning is recognized by The Physical Therapy Board of California as an approved reviewer and provider of continuing competency courses for the state of California.
OnCourse Learning is a licensed physical therapy continuing education sponsor (#216.000275) with The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation from July 2013 through September 30, 2018.
This course has been approved as meeting the continuing education requirements for PTs and PTAs by:
The Ohio Physical Therapy Association (approval no. 10S0991 for 6/2/10 to 6/2/11; 11S0894 from 06/08/11 to 06/08/12; 12S1143 for 06/09/12 to 06/09/13; 13S1537 for 06/10/13 to 06/10/14; 14S1222 for 06/11/14 to 06/11/15; 15S1145 for 06/12/15 to 06/12/16; 16S1791 for 06/13/16 to 06/13/17; 17S5439 for 05/09/17 to 05/09/18).
The Florida Physical Therapy Association (approval no. CE100615657, exp. date 12/31/10; CE110015654 for 01/01/11 to 12/31/11; CE120017197 for 01/01/12 to 12/31/12; CE130019643 for 01/01/13 to 12/31/13; CE140021528 for 01/01/14 to 12/31/14; CE150024044 for 01/01/15 to 12/31/15; CE16-27095 for 01/01/16 to 12/31/16; CE17-518137 for 01/01/17 to 12/31/17). Approval of this course does not necessarily imply The Florida Physical Therapy Association supports the views of the presenter or the sponsors.
The Tennessee Physical Therapy Association for Class 1 Continuing Education Requirement (approval no. 3756 for 05/09/11 to 05/08/12, 4372 for 05/09/12 to 05/08/13; 5078 for 05/09/13 to 05/08/14; 5690 for 05/09/14 to 05/08/15; 6151 for 05/09/15 to 05/08/16; 2016-172 for 05/09/16 to 05/08/17; 2017-218 for 5/9/17 to 5/8/18).
The Pennsylvania Board of Physical Therapy (approval no. PTCE003855 for 01/01/13 to 12/31/14; PTCE006770 for 01/01/15 to 12/31/16; PTCE010142 for 01/01/17 to 12/31/18).
The New Jersey Board of Physical Therapy Examiners (approval no. 481-2010, exp. date 1/31/12; 115-2012 from 02/01/12 to 01/31/14; 237-2014 for 02/01/14 to 01/31/16; 2016-449 for 02/01/16 to 01/31/18).
This course has been approved by:
The Maryland State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners for 0.1 CEU for 04/28/11 to 04/28/15; 03/16/15 to 03/16/19.
The Nevada State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners for 0.1 units of continuing education for 01/30/12 to 07/31/13; 07/31/13 to 07/31/15; 07/31/15 to 07/31/17.
The Illinois Chapter Continuing Education Committee has certified that this course meets the criteria for approval of Continuing Education offerings established by The Illinois Physical Therapy Association (approval no. 437.3409 for 6/1/10 to 6/1/11; 437-3836 for 06/01/11 to 06/01/12; 437-4345 for 06/01/12 to 06/01/13; 437-4889 for 06/01/13 to 06/01/14). According to the Rules for the Administration of the Illinois Physical Therapy Act (section 13460.61) published by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation, a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant applying for re-licensure in Illinois can earn a maximum of 50 percent of their required continuing education hours from self-study. The hours awarded of this course are designated for self-study CE credit.
Other states may accept this course for meeting their CE requirements. Check with your state association or board.

Course Originally Released on: 7/13/2010
Date of Most Recent Review: 1/23/2017
Course Termination/Update Date: 1/23/2020


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.

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DANA S - Auburn, PA  ·  Feb 07, 2018
I liked this course it was educational
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Leah P - Jonesboro, AR  ·  Feb 06, 2018
Lots of good information
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Laura W - Akron, OH  ·  Feb 01, 2018
It would have been helpful to go more in depth with ways to correctly identify clients.
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MILVIA V - ONTARIO, CA  ·  Jan 22, 2018
it was informative and will implement.
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Ross P - Akron, OH  ·  Jan 18, 2018
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Price: $19.00
CE-PRO Price: $9.50