Patient Safety Culture and managing Healthcare related incidents

About the Course

A robust quality system includes the structures and processes that support the identification, management, and document of healthcare-related incidents for learning and accountability, as well as concerted efforts to cultivate a strong culture of quality. These are priorities in OCA, OCG, OCBA, and OCB.   

Each OC has developed incident-reporting processes, tools, and resources, reporting remains extremely low.  Poor reporting is driven by two key factors:  low awareness and under-developed skills for incident management, and poor quality culture, which prohibits identification of incidents when they occur.  Incident management skills are often not part of pre-employment training in MSF field settings, and MSF’s current internally-developed training materials for incident management have limited reach, as they target international staff or they require an implementer field visit. 

As MSF moves away from face to face trainings and increases use of self-paced and practical-application-based training, we see an opportunity to provide staff with an accessible training resource on these important topics.  The proposed e-learning would build on a small package of e-learnings developed by the Quality Contact Group in 2020-2021:  

  • Fundamentals of Quality Care (knowledge-based) 
  • Quality Improvement in Healthcare (skills-based) 

This e-learning will be the third component, focused on attitude and behaviour change.  Together, this package supports field staff to engage in and lead quality of care initiatives and equips field teams with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will enable sustainable quality improvement.

How to enrol




Who is this course for?

The primary learners will be field-based staff, from both clinical and non-clinical backgrounds. The material presented in this e-learning will be applicable – but not limited – to Medical Coordinators, Medical Activity Managers, Nurse Activity Managers, Project Managers, Heads of Mission, Nurses, Physicians, Field Managers, and those working at all levels of field-based care delivery, medical quality, operations, and human resources.  Other learners will include headquarters staff in the medical, operations, and human resource departments, as well as staff in other roles who are interested in quality of care. 

Training approach

Self-paced e-learning modules, videos, games, exercises, and self-reflection questions


Via end-of chapter quizzes.


3-4 hours

Learning Objectives

To equip the learner with skills and confidence to:  

  • Describe culture of quality and explain its importance for healthcare and for MSF.  
  • Describe contributors to a strong culture of quality and examine elements of quality culture in MSF / their field project – both individual and organizational.  
  • Understand principles of behavior change as they apply to culture of quality and incident response.  
  • Adopt behaviors that are consistent with a strong culture of quality.  
  • Define healthcare related incidents.  
  • Characterize healthcare related incidents, according to: 
    • Severity (adverse medical events, near-misses, no-harm incidents) 
    • Types of incidents
  • Understand and describe the scale of healthcare incidents and the impact of unsafe care (to understand why this is a priority as part of risk management, including organizational risk). 
  • Apply and promote actions for management of incidents across a range of contexts. 
    • Identification
    • Management: immediate risk management, application of QI methods in response to a medical incident (root cause analyses, improvement planning) 
    • Reporting: understand why we report; depending on software capabilities, naming OC-specific procedures for incident reporting  
    • Implementation of actions for improvement  
    • Notification of other systems as needed (discipline, professional misbehavior, RBU)  
    • Understand staff roles & responsibilities that transcend reporting
  • Describe the importance of disclosure to patients and apply this practice in culturally-adapted ways 
  • Understand the impact of healthcare related incidents on staff and implementing measures to minimize sequelae for secondary victims

List of Contents

  1. Welcome to this Course
  2. Patient Safety Culture
  3. Behaviour Change and Patient Safety Culture
  4. Healthcare Related Incidents
  5. Managing Healthcare Related Incidents
  6. Learning from Healthcare Related Incidents
  7. Disclosure to Patients and Caregivers
  8. How Healthcare Workers are Affected by Incidents
  9. Wrap Up