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Geisinger becomes the first member of Risant Health

Steven J. Scheinman, MD, president and dean of Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM) and executive vice president, Geisinger, is a keynote speaker at the Patient Safety Movement Foundation’s (PSMF) seventh annual World Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit in Huntington Beach, California.

He will announce a comprehensive patient safety curriculum for health professionals that was developed by a PSMF workgroup which he chaired along with Dr. Margrit Shoemaker, a member of the GCSOM faculty.

The curriculum is innovative in that its modular structure can be used by any learner in the healthcare field – be they medical students, nurses or technicians -- at any stage of professional development, from novice to expert. This scalability makes the program a universal approach to teaching patient safety.

“I am honored to highlight the work of PSMF’s Curriculum and Education Workgroup,” Dr. Scheinman said. “Together we have designed a curriculum that makes patient safety an integral part of educating any learner. The curriculum I am announcing at the summit is the result of an 18-month effort on the part of a 20-person workgroup. Our charge was to develop a program that would make education about patient safety an active step any learner -- and those responsible for teaching them -- can take to reach the goal of zero preventable hospital deaths. We believe that this adaptability will greatly facilitate adoption of this curriculum in a wide range of healthcare settings.”

Dr. Scheinman said the curriculum acknowledges and leverages excellent existing curricula, including the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Open School Patient Safety series, and the World Health Organization’s patient safety curriculum, and others, and also includes new content such as case studies. It’s structure allows flexibility and adaptability for use by schools teaching nursing, medical or any health professions students. It can also be employed by health systems to educate staff across the developmental spectrum, from novice to expert in their field.

Dr. Scheinman’s speech marks the second time he has addressed attendees at the summit. He delivered remarks in London at the 2018 gathering, providing an interim update on the workgroup’s progress.

The curriculum announced at the 2019 summit is an Actionable Patient Safety Solution (APSS) as defined by PSMF – meaning it constitutes an action endorsed by the foundation that healthcare providers can take to achieve PSMF’s “zero preventable deaths” goal.

The curriculum provides education in each of the eight “domains” PSMF deems essential to patient safety.

The first four domains are “foundational:

  • Error science –  Curricular content is designed to improve patient safety through understanding and management of clinical risk, utilization of effective error reporting systems, root cause analysis performance, and application of continuous quality improvement is highlighted.
  • System science – Learners will understand healthcare delivery as a complex system, and will compare and contrast attributes of high reliability organizations (HROs) with the current healthcare delivery model, with application of these principles to integrated healthcare systems to improve patient safety.
  • Human factors – Content provides a better understanding of humans and health systems with insight into the cognitive, physical and psychological attributes of clinicians practicing in the healthcare environment, and a rationale for applying human factors engineering to health system design.
  • Technology – Learners will appreciate the expanding role of technology in healthcare delivery and its impact on patient safety. Focus is on the human and tech interface and knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors needed to utilize technology for the benefit of safe care while recognizing that rapid developments, such as artificial intelligence, will create new benefits and challenges.
    • Impact of technology on patient safety
    • Human and tech interface
    • Artificial intelligence
    • Clinical value and limitations

Two domains are integral to all aspects of patient safety and reducing medical error:

  • Teamwork and communication – Error prone “gaps” in care are highlighted with content offering validated communication frameworks to ensure patients’ safe transitions across the healthcare experience.
  • Leadership and leading change – This domain emphasizes the critical role of leadership amongst team members, and at all levels of health systems, as well as the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors needed to effect meaningful changes to deliver safe care.

Two domains embody the goal of providing safe care in an interprofessional, just and cooperative culture that includes patient and family as team members and will benefit health and well-being of patients and caregivers. 

  • Culture of safety – This domain addresses elements of organizational culture, professionalism, ethics and disclosure, including the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors required to develop a “culture of safety” and an effective learning system.
  • Patient-oriented safe care – This domain is devoted to patients and families navigating healthcare with attention to relationship centered communication, engagement as valued team members, and appreciation of “safe care” from the recipient’s perspective.

The annual World Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit convenes international hospital leaders, medical and information technology companies, the patient advocacy community, public policy makers and government officials, to discuss solutions to the leading challenges that cause preventable patient deaths in hospitals worldwide.


About Geisinger
Geisinger is among the nation’s leading providers of value-based care, serving 1.2 million people in urban and rural communities across Pennsylvania. Founded in 1915 by philanthropist Abigail Geisinger, the non-profit system generates $10 billion in annual revenues across 134 care sites - including 10 hospital campuses, and Geisinger Health Plan, with 600,000 members in commercial and government plans. The Geisinger College of Health Sciences educates more than 5,000 medical professionals annually and conducts more than 1,400 clinical research studies. With 26,000 employees, including 1,600 employed physicians, Geisinger is among Pennsylvania’s largest employers with an estimated economic impact of $14 billion to the state’s economy. On March 31, 2024, Geisinger became the first member of Risant Health, a new nonprofit charitable organization created to expand and accelerate value-based care across the country.  Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and X.

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Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
Elizabeth Zygmunt
Director, Media and Public Relations 
Office: 570-504-9687
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