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Curriculum & Details

The fellowship provides one year of educational, program development and research learning opportunities. Fellows spend their time in training and safety program development and evaluation activities relevant to KP. Mentors of national stature provide guidance to fellows in rich learning environments. Considerable efforts will be applied to connect the fellows to the best and brightest in the healthcare improvement field, both inside and outside KP.


The one-year curriculum includes training and experience in practical applications of patient safety tools in Kaiser Permanente, including: Root Cause Analysis (RCA) teams, Health Care Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (HFMEA) teams, a project involving inquiry into a specific area in patient safety. Formal education re: systems-based approach to problem solving using principles of Human Factors Engineering, Core Reading Assignments, PS reporting system & databases, familiarity with RCA data in database, Experience with safety database searches, advantages and limitations of RCA data, experience w/ implementation of NCPS programs in KP, patient safety curriculum, and alerts & advisories. These tools are critical to a fellow’s participation in safety activities and are customized to meet the fellows’ training needs, and critical to productive relationships with the patient safety manager in a local KP Medical Center.

Fellows will also have experience with the regional KP HealthConnect leadership to learn how electronic records can be utilized to support and implement their projects. Travel and meeting expenses and funded support from the Division of Research for experimental design and statistical analysis are also included in the fellowship.

A summer one-week orientation, similar to Intern’s orientation prior to starting internship, is provided during the first month of fellowship (July), in Ann Arbor, MI at the VA National Center for Patient Safety, and is also available for mentors. Fellows will also be sponsored for the IHI Patient Safety Officer class during their fellowship. In addition to these two industry leading outside experiences, additional time will be arranged with experts outside KP depending on particular fellow projects and interests.


Fellows shall spend at least 60 percent of their time on projects and training and no more than 40 percent in clinical care, teaching or administration. Fellows are expected to develop, implement and evaluate a safety project and submit at least one (preferably 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.

Preceptors (Mentors)

In order to select relevant projects to improving safety, fellows are encouraged to meet with institutional leaders within and outside KP. Fellows are to develop individualized learning plans in collaboration with their preceptors (mentors). Mentors should provide assistance with project and research methodology and content, as well as guidance in personal and professional development. For these reasons, several mentors are often needed. These individuals are expected to meet regularly with the fellows to assess their progress, serve as role models, and provide constructive feedback and assistance in meeting the fellows’ goals. Mentors are expected to participate in formative and summative evaluation of fellows and the fellowship program.


All fellows will participate in at least one safety research project to which they make a substantive, independent, and identifiable contribution. The topic of the project should be of direct relevance to KP’s mission, although KP medical facilities do not necessarily have to be the sole sites of the research.

Seminars and Lectures

Fellows are expected to attend, remotely, weekly research seminars at the VA HSR&D Center of Excellence and the Regenstrief Institute. Faculty scientists present their research at the weekly seminars, which provides an outstanding forum for interdisciplinary learning and dialogue on the latest methods and topics related to health services research, implementation sciences, geriatrics, and other related disciplines. Fellows will also be leaders in crafting durable safety training materials for both residents and other providers in the KP system.

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