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Fundamentals of Patient Safety for the Cardiothoracic Surgery Team

Activity Type:

  • Interactive Modules

Release Date: 11/13/2017

Expiration Date: 12/1/2020

  • CME: 4.5
  • Participation: 4.5

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Fundamentals of Patient Safety for the Cardiothoracic Surgery Team

CME Information

Prior to viewing the module(s), learners must complete the module-specific pre-test. Learners will then view the module and complete the module-specific post-test prior to claiming CME credit for the module. Learners must pass each post-test with 100% correct in order to earn CME credit for each module. Learners will be given the opportunity to re-answer questions they answered incorrectly until they achieve a score of 100%. After passing the test, learners will be asked to complete the module evaluation prior to claiming credit. This information will be maintained in the STS Learning Centerfor future reference.

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons designates this enduring material for a maximum of 4.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Program for Maintenance of Certification (MOC) incorporated patient safety principles into the (MOC) process.  The American Board of Thoracic Surgery (ABTS) will accept the completion of Fundamentals of Patient Safety for the Cardiothoracic Surgery Team developed by The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) as meeting this requirement.

This activity also provides self-assessment credits towards Part 2 of the ABS MOC Program.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this program, participants should be able to:

  • Identify the magnitude and extent of patient safety problems in cardiothoracic surgery.
  • Evaluate the role of organizational culture, systems thinking, communication practices, and human factors in mitigating errors and adverse events across the surgical continuum.
  • Justify the use of tools and methods in error reporting, accident investigation, and quality improvement in reducing adverse events.  

Intended Audience

The intended audience consists of cardiothoracic surgeons, general surgeons, anesthesiologists, oncologists, cardiologists, pulmonologists, radiologists, and allied health care providers working with cardiothoracic surgeons. MDs and DOs may claim CME credit; non-MDs/DOs are awarded a certificate of participation.


Estimated Time to Complete

Epidemiology of Error


Systems Thinking and the Effect of the System on Patient Safety


Human Factors : Part 1


Human Factors: Part 2


Culture of Safety


Fundamentals of Quality Improvement


Communication: Part 1


Communication: Part 2


Methods and Tools for Evaluating Safety Events


Total Maximum # of Credits




Disclosure Information

As a sponsor of continuing medical education accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), The Society of Thoracic Surgeons requires that any individual who is in a position to control the content of an educational activity must disclose all relationships with commercial interests (including known relationships of his or her immediate family, department, and partners). The ACCME defines a commercial interest as "any entity producing, marketing, reselling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients. The ACCME does not consider providers of clinical service directly to patients to be commercial interests." The question of whether a disclosed conflict situation could represent undue influence on the educational activity by a commercial interest or whether the disclosed information is sufficient to consider an abstract, presentation, or other educational enduring material to represent potentially biased information must be resolved prior to an individual's involvement in STS educational programming.

Disclosure information is provided for each presenter at the beginning of his or her presentation. The absence of any declaration of a disclosure indicates that there is nothing to disclose. To review the complete STS Education Disclosure Policy, go to


Planners of the Fundamentals of Patient Safety for the Cardiothoracic Surgery Team


Commercial Relationships of Curriculum Authors

Unless otherwise noted, the program planning members have no commercial relationships to disclose:

STS Patient Safety Maintenance of Certification Task Force

Juan A. Sanchez, MD (Chair)

Edward M. Bender, MD

William C. Conner, MD

James I. Fann, MD
COMMERCIAL RELATIONSHIPS  Ownership Interest, Twelve, Inc., Shockwave Medical; Consultant/Advisory Board, Twelve, Inc., Shockwave Medical

Thomas E. MacGillivray, MD
COMMERCIAL REALTIONSHIPS  Nonremunerative Position of Influence, STS Board of Directors

M. Blair Marshall, MD
COMMERCIAL REALTIONSHIPS  Research Grant, Ethicon; Speakers Bureau/Honoraria, Massachusetts General Hospital; Nonremunerative Position of Influence, Elsevier

Thoralf M. Sundt, MD
COMMERCIAL REALTIONSHIPS  Consultant/Advisory Board, Medtronic, Thrasos, Inc.

Other Contributors

Andrew ElBardissi, MD*

Sarah Henrickson Parker, PhD*

*Not an STS member and therefore not an official member of the STS Patient Safety Maintenance of Certification Task Force

Commercial Relationships of STS Staff

Unless otherwise noted, these STS staff members have no commercial relationships to disclose:

Natalie Boden, Director of Marketing and Communications
COMMERCIAL RELATIONSHIPS  Ownership Interest, Baxter International, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson

Bridget Carney, E-Learning Coordinator

Damon K. Marquis, Director of Education & Member Services

COMMERCIAL RELATIONSHIPS  Ownership Interest, Allergan, General Electric Company, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, Inc, Pfizer, Inc,

Samantha McCarthy, Industry Relations Manager

Donna E. McDonald, Director of Quality

Wesley K. Peart, CME Compliance and Program Coordinator

Michele D. Rush, Senior Manager for Education

Darcy Sengewald, Senior Manager, E-Learning

Michelle Taylor, Education Manager






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Hardware/Software Requirements

The minimum hardware and software requirements that the learner must have to participate in this CME activity are:

Minimum Hardware Requirements


  • Operating System: Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista; Windows XP Service Pack 2
  • Intel® Pentium® III 450MHz or faster processor (or equivalent)
  • 128MB of RAM
  • Video Card: at least 64MB of video memory
  • Sound Card: at least 16-bit

Mac OS

  • Operating System: Apple Mac OS X 10.4.8 or above
  • Intel Core™ Duo 1.83GHz or faster processor
  • 128MB of RAM
  • Video Card: at least 64MB of video memory
  • Sound Card: at least 16-bit


  • Broadband connection with 500+ Kbps

Provider Contact Information

Questions regarding this online CME activity should be directed to STS administrative offices at 633 N. Saint Clair St., Floor 23, Chicago, IL 60611; 312-202-5800;

Copyright Notice

Copyright with respect to all content associated with this CME activity is owned by The Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

Copyright © 2017 The Society of Thoracic Surgeons; All Rights Reserved.

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