JU becomes first in Florida to launch degree program to prevent deadly medical errors

Jacksonville University is leading the state with a new online medical degree program. For the first time in Florida, the school is offering new curriculum to help health care professions prevent deadly medical errors.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville University is leading the state with a new online medical degree program. For the first time in Florida, the school is offering new curriculum to help health care professionals prevent deadly medical errors.

“This is innovative,” Dr. Teri Chenot said. “It’s an emerging field due to the call for issues on medical errors.”

Dr. Chenot is an associate professor at Jacksonville University’s Keigwin School of Nursing. She is also the Department Chair for Healthcare Quality and Safety Programs. Dr. Chenot launched this new program after nearly 20 years of research on the topic.

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“Medical errors are the third leading cause of death,” Dr. Chenot said. “Twenty years ago, this landmark study came out that kind of highlighted this. And we’re still not where we need to be.”

The two new online degree programs are the Master of Science in Healthcare Quality and Safety and the Post-Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Quality and Safety. Currently, there are 17 other degree programs that also focus on preventing medical errors, but none are in Florida.

“It is interprofessional. So nurses, physicians, pharmacists, health administrators will be in it, as well as our faculty are interprofessional too,” Dr. Chenot said.

The courses are eight weeks long, taught online by Dr. Chenot and other professionals in the health care industry. It launches when students return in January.

“In our first class, we’re going to hit on simulation, ethics, team training,” Dr. Chenot said. “Their course work will include team work with that. We have health law, regulatory issues, health organizations, regulatory organizations that have oversight.”

According to the Agency for Health Care Administration, there were 88 closed malpractice claims at Jacksonville hospitals in the 2018 annual report, and 135 more pending claims. For the closed cases, Action News Jax is working to find how many, if any, physicians were found at fault.

Dr. Chenot said miscommunication is a leading cause of medical errors in hospitals. It could happen during a shift change if the ongoing staff doesn’t get all of the information during the hand off.

“Communication, as long as I’ve been in this, is and continues to be an ongoing issue,” Dr. Chenot said. “They didn’t report on something, there was a bad hand off from emergency department to hospital floor.”

JU said there are a few spots left in the Master’s program for this semester. They extended the deadline through Friday, Jan. 3. Find the application here.