Improving Patient Safety: Engaging Students in Interprofessional Team-Based Learning (TBL)


  • Antonia J Clarke University of Sydney, Australia
  • Annette Burgess University of Sydney, Australia
  • Christie van Diggele University of Sydney, Australia
  • Jacqueline Bloomfield University of Sydney, Australia
  • Carl Schneider University of Sydney, Australia
  • Eszter Kalman University of Sydney, Australia
  • Merrilyn Walton University of Sydney, Australia


Patient safety, interprofessional, Team-based learning, collaboration, social capital, pharmacy, nursing, medicine


Complex healthcare systems and ambiguous clinical decisions can result in medical errors which threaten patient safety. There is a need for improved awareness of medical errors across healthcare disciplines. We utilised team-based learning (TBL) to pilot an interprofessional patient safety module for senior health professional students. We evaluated the use of TBL within the interprofessional context to achieve student learning outcomes. Twenty-seven students from pharmacy (n=11), nursing (n=8) and medicine (n=8) faculties participated. Data were collected via questionnaires, focus groups, class observation and student test scores. Quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics. Framework analysis was used to code qualitative data using social capital as a conceptual framework. In total, 26/27 (96%) of participants completed the questionnaire and 20/27 (70%) attended focus groups. There was no significant difference in prior knowledge between the disciplines. The TBL module enriched the learning environment and enabled students to prepare, problem-solve and interact with facilitators. The TBL pedagogy and interprofessional framework enabled the development of social capital among students. The module demonstrated the potential of interprofessional education to shift knowledge and attitudes towards a greater appreciation of patient safety issues and better prepare health professional students for the workforce. The TBL pedagogy strengthened knowledge sharing and fostered collaboration across disciplines.


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How to Cite

Improving Patient Safety: Engaging Students in Interprofessional Team-Based Learning (TBL). (2023). Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 20(5).

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