Patient safety - theory and practice (MHV204)

This course is about how patient safety can be understood, explained and maintained when a patient is in need of healthcare services. The aim of the course is to give students the knowledge, skills, and analytical capacity to understand the important preconditions necessary for achieving a high level of safety in healthcare services.

Course description for study year 2023-2024. Please note that changes may occur.


Course code




Credits (ECTS)


Semester tution start


Number of semesters


Exam semester


Language of instruction



Course does not start before autumn 2024


Course content is based on recent safety research in healthcare services, however, examples from other sectors of society are applied when relevant. The course covers the following main topics:

  • System perspective
  • Patient perspective
  • Role of governmental bodies, policy and practice
  • Interaction and transitions
  • Risk-based approach
  • Leadership, learning, safety culture and work environment
  • Education, simulation and training

Learning outcome

Upon completion of this course, the students are expected to have the following knowledge, skills and competence:

Advanced knowledge

The candidate;

  • has advanced knowledge of existing theories and research in patient safety
  • has advanced knowledge of current practices in patient safety in Norwegian healthcare services
  • can assess differences between an individual perspective and a system's perspective on safety
  • has advanced knowledge of how risk-based methods, simulation, safety culture and learning can be used as a means in patient safety work
  • can assess how patient experiences can be incorporated in patient safety work


  • Can apply theories/methods to improve patient safety in practice
  • Can evaluate scientific publications on patient safety
  • Can demonstrate an understanding of situational challenges related to patient safety in healthcare services

General competence

  • Can analyze different theoretical, methodological and practical approaches to patient safety

Required prerequisite knowledge



Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Term paper 1/1 Letter grades

Coursework requirements

Academic essay
Submitted and approved academic essay about the research problem for the individual exam paper (maximum 500 words).

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator:

Siv Hilde Berg

Course coordinator:

Hilda Bø Lyng

Study Program Director:

Margareth Kristoffersen

Method of work

There will be a combination of lectures, self-study, group work and/or individual assignments on campus and/or digitally. Teaching will extend over 2-4 days depending on the number of students.

Note: If only a few students are registered, the course can be organized as a supervised reading course.


This course will provide situational knowledge of patient safety challenges in health and welfare services.

Overlapping courses

Course Reduction (SP)
Patient safety - theory and practice (MHV264_1) 10

Open for

The course is open to all master's students.

Candidates with a relevant bachelor's degree may apply for admission to the course if there is availability.

This course will provide situational knowledge of patient safety challenges in health and welfare services.

Course assessment

There must be an early dialogue between the course coordinator, the student representative and the students. The purpose is feedback from the students for changes and adjustments in the course for the current semester.In addition, a digital course evaluation must be carried out at least every three years. Its purpose is to gather the students experiences with the course.


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