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Patient Safety Fellowship (ACGME) - Curriculum & Details

The Patient Safety Fellowship provides rich learning opportunities

Clinical Practice

The model of physician leadership within Kaiser Permanente is through active clinical practice and expertise. Fellows will apply for credentials and privileges at one or more of our medical centers in their area of specialty as a pool physician for the Permanente Medical Group, and clinical work will be expected to comprise no more than 40% of their time. This clinical practice informs fellows’ project work and facilitates implementation of pilots at a local site.

Structured Curriculum

The one-year curriculum includes skill building in practical applications of patient safety and quality improvement tools and frameworks. The curriculum will also discuss specific application of safety and quality tools, programs and databases within Kaiser Permanente. These tools are critical to a fellow’s participation in safety activities. Curriculum will also include works in progress meetings, leadership training, and time for customization based on fellows’ training and project needs. Curriculum will be taught by patient safety fellowship program directors, core faculty, and Kaiser Permanente leaders in healthcare delivery and improvement.


The foundation of the fellowship is in experiential learning. Fellows will discuss their core areas of interest during the application process. All fellows will participate in at least one rigorous improvement project to which they make a substantive, independent, and identifiable contribution. The topic of the project should be of direct relevance to Kaiser Permanente’s mission and aligned with current initiatives within KP at a national, regional or medical center level.

Fellows will be supported by the Fellowship Program Director and core faculty, as well as sponsors within the focus area. Fellows will develop individualized project plans and manage progress in their project(s). Progress will be discussed during group sessions weekly, and with primary mentors and sponsors at least monthly. Mentors are assigned by the program for their content and process expertise, as well as their experience in supporting mentees. Mentors will also participate in formative and summative evaluation of fellows and the fellowship program.
Fellows are expected to develop, implement, and evaluate a safety project and submit at least one or more manuscript(s) to a peer-reviewed journal. As a result of their work, they should accomplish at least one of the following: lead inter-professional teams, present at one or more national meetings and/or actively participate in and contribute to organizational change initiatives at KP.

Fellows will also be responsible for a fellowship “legacy” contribution for either improvement of the fellowship or creation of safety and quality training materials for KP learners or employees.

Additional Experiences

In addition to the areas above, fellows will participate in the following:

  • Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Patient Safety Executive Training
  • National Patient Safety Foundation Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS) certification examination
  • Kaiser Permanente Patient Safety University
  • TeamSTEPPS training
  • Resident quality and safety teaching
  • National patient safety and quality conferences (may be limited by conference availability due to COVID and KP travel restrictions)

Patient safety is part of our culture, and at KP we are learning how to systematically improve the ways in which we give care. Prior fellows have done remarkable work in a wide variety of areas, such as predictive modeling and rescue for patient deterioration, rapid management of pre-eclampsia, preoperative blood optimization, simulation training for clinic emergencies and residency procedures, safety net for colorectal cancer and hip fracture pathways to name but a few. This is an ideal year for a self motivated doctor to acquire real world skills in improving a system.”– Paul Preston, MD, retired Program Director

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