Situational Awareness and Patient Safety

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Situational Awareness and Patient Safety: A brief overview

Human Factors have been identified by the medical community as a key domain for enhancing safe practice. Despite this, there is minimal training on human factors in the medical field.

A needs assessment conducted with physicians from various medical disciplines, nurses, medical educators, patient safety personnel, and human factors professionals, identified situational awareness, a foundational human factor, as the most important and the least understood human factor.

This learning package was developed, with the support of the CMPA, to train physicians on situational awareness as a means to enhance patient safety. The learning package includes a primer on situational awareness and patient safety; a presentation slide set with instructors’ notes to support instructors in situational awareness and patient safety training; and three individual instructional modules, for instructors, participants, and self-instruction that allow the user to practice their learning in hypothetical cases in a range of clinical settings.

Find more information here:

Situational Awareness and Patient Safety Learning Package

Brief primer

Une brève introduction

Click here for the complete learning package!


Avi Parush, PhD1

Catherine Campbell, B.A. Sc, P.Eng, M.Des1

Aren Hunter, PhD candidate1

Chunyun Ma, MA candidate1

Lisa Calder, MD, MSc2

James Worthington, MD2

Cynthia Abbott, MA3

Jason R. Frank, MD, MA(Ed)2,3

Published by:

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

774 Echo Drive

Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 5N8 Canada

TEL 613-730-8177

TOLL-FREE 1-800-668-3740

FAX 613-730-8262



ISBN: 978-1-926588-10-0

Copyright © 2011 The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

All rights reserved.

This material may be used for personal non-commercial educational purposes only. Written permission from the Royal

College is required for all other uses.