TCOM celebrates 500th student to pass CPPS (TM) certification exam

Frank Filipetto Cropped For Social

In just two short years, The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth’s Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine has brought patient safety into the medical school curriculum, offering a course specifically designed to prepare students for the Certified Professional in Patient SafetyTM exam.

On Sept. 11, 18 students passed the certification exam and earned the CPPS credential. This meant that a total of 515 TCOM students and 25 faculty and clerkship directors have passed the exam.

“I am so incredibly proud of our students and faculty for reaching this important milestone,” said Dr. Filipetto, TCOM Dean and Everett Endowed Professor. “We started in 2020, and to reach this point with now more than 500 students, faculty members and clerkship directors becoming CPPS certified in such a short time is a credit to everyone involved in the course. Patient safety has to be a priority, and we in the profession  have an obligation to fill in a very serious gap in medical education.”

TCOM is the first and only medical school in the nation to offer a course to prioritize a thorough understanding of patient safety in medical education. Since the certification program was launched 10 years ago, patient safety professionals representing all 50 U.S. states and 30 countries have earned the CPPS credential.

During the summer, TCOM fourth-year student Nora Tran recently became the 5,000th person worldwide to earn certification. With this milestone, TCOM students and graduates account for 10% of all providers certified worldwide with the CPPS credential.

The innovative curriculum was developed by Janet Lieto, DO, FACOFP, CMD, CPPS and Lillee Gelinas, DNP, RN, CPPS, FAAN as part of the “Professional Identity and Health Systems Practice Course” to address a burgeoning problem within the health care system.

A leading cause of death in the U.S. is medical error, and the course addresses this urgent need while also supporting HSC’s mission to create solutions for a healthier community by preparing providers and leaders of the future in the field of patient safety.

A 2018 study by Johns Hopkins states that more than 250,000 people in the U.S die every year from medical errors. Other reports assert the number to be as high as 440,000. It is the leading cause of preventable harm and death in the U.S.

Certification in patient safety demonstrates a personal and professional commitment to patients and families who trust physicians to do no harm while providing evidence-based care in a compassionate manner.

This credential is awarded to those who pass a board certification examination covering five patient safety domains: culture, leadership, patient safety risks and solutions, measuring and improving performance, systems thinking and design and human factors.

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