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Science of High Reliability

Inefficient and poorly designed work processes create errors, delays, patient harm and waste. High reliability is the study of human performance in complex systems. Here, you’ll learn systems thinking, analysis of serious safety events and techniques to minimize mistakes and waste. You’ll gain tactics to move your people into a culture where patient safety is at the core of the business. You’ll understand how to improve team performance and results from the bedside to the board room.

10.0 Total CME

10.0 Core Credits - CPE

10.0 Elective Credits - Masters

Course Objectives

  • Define reliability, and describe how reliability can be measured and expressed.
  • Describe how human errors and latent system weaknesses combine to cause events using Reason’s Swiss Cheese Effect.
  • Describe how culture can shape behavior and prevent human error using Cook and Wood’s Sharp End model.
  • Provide examples of the five (5) behavior-shaping factors and three (3) steps to culture change.
  • Explain both safety and leader behaviors, and their selection process, within a hospital, service line or single unit.
  • Examine leader behaviors and their use within high reliability organizations.
  • Recognize impactful culture change opportunities (e.g., incident reporting, stopping the line, visual control, data movement/presentation, pattern recognition)

Method of Participation

To complete this program successfully and claim credit, participants must follow these steps:

  • Read the educational objectives provided on the course summary page.
  • Attend the sessions or watch all the video lectures for this course (if applicable).
  • Read any course materials and complete any required activities.
  • Complete the course evaluation and post-test via your dashboard on the Association website. Successful completion of a given activity's post-test requires a minimum 75% passing score prior to claiming CME credit, with three attempts allowed.
  • CME certificates will be available for printing after claiming CME credit.
  • Estimated time for course completion is equivalent to the CME credit hours.

Key Dates

Original Course Release Date: September 2016

Course Expiration Date: September 2019

Access to Course Expires: 365 days from purchase date of course



Planner Disclosure: The planners (American Association for Physician Leadership® staff) for this activity have no relevant financial relationships with commercial interests to disclose.

Faculty Disclosure: The faculty for this activity have no relevant financial relationships with commercial interests to disclose.


The American Association for Physician Leadership® is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing education for physicians.


The American Association for Physician Leadership® designates this enduring material for a maximum of 10 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s) ™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Cancellation Policy

Registrations are eligible for full refund or transfer to another course (that occurs within 12 months) for up to 72 hours after purchase. A $100 processing fee applies to cancellations or transfers after 72 hours but before 30 days have elapsed. Cancellations after 30 days from purchase date are not eligible for refund or transfer.

Registrations may not be transferred to another person at any time. All refunds will be issued to the original form of payment. Refunds or transfers are not available if testing has occurred or CME is claimed.

Through the American Board of Medical Specialties (“ABMS”) and Association of American Medical Colleges’ (“AAMC”) joint initiative (ABMS MOC Directory) to create a wide array of Maintenance of Certification (“MOC”) Activities, Science of High Reliability has met the MOC requirements as a MOC Part II CME Activity (apply toward general CME requirement) by the following ABMS Member Boards:

Allergy and Immunology
Colon and Rectal Surgery
Family Medicine
Nuclear Medicine
Plastic Surgery
Preventive Medicine
Psychiatry and Neurology
Thoracic Surgery

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