Two substantial problems many PSOs face are limited access to peers and limited exposure to social sciences research. The Regional Patient Safety Officer Conference for Patient Safety Officers (PSOs) from the Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina will address these limitations.
The first aim of this conference is to bring PSOs from the region together to build and maintain social capital through a conference design based on adult learning theory that includes reflective dialogue and the conceptualization of a virtual networking site to maintain the social structure. This networking site will be created for their use following the conference. Research results will be shared and discussed using adult learning theory methodologies that will actively engage the participants in immediately using the new information.
The second aim i s to disseminate and learn from social science research that is not widely available at other health care conferences to increase PSOs'knowledge and skill for organizational and cultural change. Conference topics will be drawn from behavioral economics, human resource development, public health and information science.
The third aim i s to provide opportunities for graduate-level students interested in patient safety research to connect with PSOs as potential research partners. PSOs and student participants will share storyboards on their background, organization, and research interests during the conference. Connecting students with PSOs is important because this can result in research collaborations, access to real data for the students or identification of research questions that might result in findings that are rapidly applied for organizational improvement. This one-day conference to be held in Cary, NC at the NC Center for Hospital Quality and Patient Safety with an opportunity for post conference networking at a nearby art museum is planned for approximately 40 PSOs and 10 graduate-level students. It is anticipated that PSO participants will have a variety of years of experience, background, and training, and work in hospitals and health care systems that are representative of all existing hospitals and health care systems. It is anticipated that student participants will be from schools of nursing, medicine, public health, and pharmacy that have graduate level programs.
Patient Safety Officers hold positions of critical importance that can impact a health care organization's ability to prevent unintended patient harm. By investing in the ongoing professional development of Patient Safety Officers and providing mechanisms that promote future collaborate support, their collective efforts will have greater impact for reaching our national goals to keep patients from getting injured or sicker and help patients heal without complications.