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  • Social Work
  • Psychology
Hours: 2 Contact Hours
Author(s): Joanne E. Turnbull, MSW, MA, PhD
Peer Reviewer(s): Ted Bender, PhD
Item#: B4184
Contents: 1 Course Book (50 pages)

Keeping Clients Safe: Error and Safety in Behavioral Health Settings - 2 Hour

Price $19.95
Item # B4184
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Expiration Date: December 31, 2018

Behavioral health organizations share many of the same vulnerabilities as medical organizations when it comes to patient safety. However, certain sentinel events are more likely to occur in behavioral health organizations. Suicide, both for inpatients and recently discharged patients, is the most serious and common sentinel event for behavioral health clients, and improving the assessment of suicide risk remained one of The Joint Commission's Behavioral Health Care National Patient Safety Goals.

There is a clear need for education about client safety that is relevant to behavioral health settings and tailored to the practice needs of mental health professionals. The vast majority of professionals working in the behavioral health field receive no instruction on patient safety either through formal educational programs or in-service training, and this knowledge gap compromises the ability of these professionals to protect their patients from harm. It also prevents them from being active participants in creating a culture of safety. 

This basic-level course provides an overview of the unique risks for harm that clients may present and focuses on safety initiatives in behavioral health settings designed to address the problem of medical error.  The course introduces concepts from safety research essential to understanding the complexity of client safety and outlines the importance of a culture of safety.  The course presents basic strategies to reduce harm such as safety briefings, root cause analysis, and full disclosure.  The course describes particular areas of behavioral health care that are error prone (suicide risk assessment, mandatory reporting, and diagnosis) and strategies for reducing harm. The course concludes by addressing the emotional impact of medical errors.

Note: This course is an extraction of, and should not be taken in conjunction with, the 3-hour course, Keeping Clients Safe: Error and Safety in Behavioral Health Settings

  • Social workers participating in this course will receive 2 (clinical content) social work CE clock hours.Accreditations
  • Psychologists will receive 2 CE credits upon successfully completing this course. APA Approval

Florida Social Workers: Fulfills your entire Prevention of Medical Errors CE requirement.

Course Objectives

  • Identify strategies to improve client safety, such as safety briefings, root cause analysis, and disclosure.
  • Explain adverse events that are common in behavioral health settings.
  • Describe psychosocial needs of victims of medical error and their families.

Joanne E. Turnbull, MSW, MA, PhD, earned her master’s degree in social work and a master of arts degree and PhD in psychology from the University of Michigan. In addition to practicing as a psychiatric social worker, Dr. Turnbull has taught at the University of North Carolina School of Social Work, Columbia University School of Social Work, the University of Michigan School of Social Work, and in the department of psychiatry at Duke University. She was head of the Division of Psychiatric Social Work at Duke University, and also held senior administrative positions at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the University of Texas Medical Center, and served as executive director of the National Patient Safety Foundation. She has written numerous articles related to mental health, women’s issues, and patient safety, and co-authored To Do No Harm, a book that provides strategies for reducing harm in healthcare settings and tells the stories of professionals who strive to provide safe care. Dr. Turnbull is executive director emerita of the National Patient Safety Foundation and is a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Maine.

Ted Bender, PhD, is the program director of a 180-bed addictions treatment center in southeastern Florida. He received his MS and PhD degrees in clinical psychology from Florida State University and completed his psychology residency at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, RI. Dr. Bender spent most of his early career studying suicide risk assessment in the general population and in the military. He is still a member of the Military Suicide Research Consortium and continues to engage in data analysis and manuscript preparation in this field. He has published 18 peer-reviewed manuscripts and continues to contribute to the field of suicide and addictions research.

  • Courses must be completed on or before the expiration date noted in the course description above.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that this course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.