JHU Nursing creates MOOC on safety in health care

This month marks the launch of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing's first massive open online course, commonly known as a MOOC.

Prospective students, lifelong learners, or anyone simply interested in patient safety can get a thorough overview of the topic and a taste of the Johns Hopkins educational experience from June 3 to 30 in a course called the Science of Safety in Health Care. It is being offered by patient safety experts Cheryl Dennison Himmelfarb of the School of Nursing and Peter Pronovost of the School of Medicine.

The MOOC was designed for delivery through Coursera as a free offering. In it, Dennison Himmelfarb and Pronovost will explore topics in the science of safety, patient safety culture, patient-centered care, teamwork, and developing improvement plans.

Dennison Himmelfarb, an associate professor in the school's Department of Acute and Chronic Care, is an expert on improving cardiovascular care for high-risk underserved populations. Her current research includes developing and testing an innovative online decision support system to improve the quality of clinical care among heart failure patients. She is also director of the school's Fuld Fellows program, which offers scholarships to students interested in becoming leaders on health care quality and patient safety. Pronovost, internationally known for his work in patient safety, is a professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, director of Johns Hopkins' Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, senior vice president for patient safety and quality for Johns Hopkins Medicine, and author of Safe Patients, Smart Hospitals: How One Doctor's Checklist Can Help Us Change Health Care From the Inside Out.

David Newton, executive director for professional programs at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, says that MOOCs on other subjects, including dementia and HIV/AIDS, will be added in the future.