Improving Patient Safety - PT21

Improving Patient Safety

Practice Errors and Sentinel Events in Occupational and Physical Therapy

by Rebecca Martin, OTR/L, OTD and James F. Ross, PT, DPT, CSCS
(4.4 / 548 ratings )

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

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

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).
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). 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).
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).
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: 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.

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Cindy L - Waterford, PA  ·  Dec 08, 2016
a lot of good info in article
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Jane P - Pen Argyl, PA  ·  Dec 04, 2016
This was very informative
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sarita s - east stroudsburg, PA  ·  Dec 04, 2016
good review providing information to work with all client settings.
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lisa w - moon twp, PA  ·  Dec 02, 2016
This course was informative and helpful.
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Paula B - Greenfield, TN  ·  Dec 02, 2016
The content was appropriate.
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Price: $19.00
CE-PRO Price: $9.50