Keeping Clients Safe: Error and Safety in Behavioral Health Settings


About the Course 
This course focuses on five major components of the problem of medical error for behavioral health professionals. The first section describes the severity of the problem of medical error in the U.S. and outlines the evolution of the patient safety movement. The second section introduces concepts from human factors research that are essential to understanding the complexity of patient safety, and also outlines the importance of a culture of safety. The third section presents three basic strategies to reduce harm: Safety briefings, root cause analysis, and full disclosure. A fourth section addresses three error-prone situations that are common in behavioral health settings: Inadequate assessment of suicide risk, failure to comply with mandatory reporting laws, and failure to detect medical conditions that have psychological symptoms. The final section describes the psychosocial needs of survivors of medical error and their families. This course is intended for social workers, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychologists, and advanced practice and psychiatric nurses.

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe the evolution of the patient safety movement.
  • Explain the human factors approach to client safety.
  • Identify strategies to improve client safety, such as safety briefings, root cause analysis, and disclosure.
  • Identify adverse events that are common in behavioral health settings.
  • Describe the psychosocial needs of victims of medical error and their families.

About the Author
Matthew Lucas, MS, LMFT is a licensed marriage and family therapist practicing within an integrated primary care practice since 2015. He received a Masters of Science in counseling with an emphasis on marriage, family and child therapy from the University of Phoenix, Sacramento Gateway campus in Northern California. Additionally, he has maintained a private practice since 2011, and has previously directed several psychotherapeutic programs. Most notably, he developed and directed a brief therapy, partial hospitalization program for high-risk, self-harming adolescents. Mr. Lucas has completed on-going training in Jungian psychotherapy, and continues to study analytical concepts for treatment purposes. He is also an adjunct associate professor with the University of Maryland Global Campus, teaching in the University's First Term Experience department.

How to Receive Credit  

  • Read the entire course online or in print which requires a 3-hour commitment of time. 
  • Complete a mandatory test (a passing score of 75% is required). Test questions link content to learning objectives as a method to enhance individualized learning and material retention.
  • Provide required personal and payment information.
  • Complete the mandatory course evaluation.
  • Print your Certificate of Completion.

Resolution of Conflict of Interest*
Planners, faculty, and others in control of content (either individually or as a group) have no relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies.

Sponsorship/Commercial Support and Non-Endorsement
It is the policy of Colibri Healthcare, LLC not to accept commercial support. Furthermore, commercial interests are prohibited from distributing or providing access to this activity to learners.
The information provided in this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition. 
©2023: All Rights Reserved. Materials may not be reproduced without the expressed written permission or consent of Colibri Healthcare, LLC. The materials presented in this course are meant to provide the consumer with general information on the topics covered. The information provided was prepared by professionals with practical knowledge of the areas covered. It is not meant to provide medical, legal, or professional advice. Colibri Healthcare, LLC recommends that you consult a medical, legal, or professional services expert licensed in your state. Colibri Healthcare, LLC has made all reasonable efforts to ensure that all content provided in this course is accurate and up to date at the time of printing but does not represent or warrant that it will apply to your situation nor circumstances and assumes no liability from reliance on these materials. Quotes are collected from customer feedback surveys. The models are intended to be representative and not actual customers. 

Colibri Healthcare, LLC has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6341. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Colibri Healthcare, LLC is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

Colibri Healthcare, LLC is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Colibri Healthcare, LLC maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Most states accept courses offered by APA approved sponsors.

Colibri Healthcare, LLC (formerly Elite Professional Education, LLC), Provider Number 1147, is approved as an ACE provider to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Regulatory boards are the final authority on courses accepted for continuing education credit. ACE provider approval period: 5/5/2023 – 5/5/2026.