Preventing Medical Errors in Behavioral Health

By Leo Christie, PhD; Catherine Christie, PhD and Susan Mitchell, PhD

Preventing Medical Errors in Behavioral Health is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that satisfies the medical errors requirement of Florida mental health professionals.

Preventing Medical Errors in Behavioral HealthWhen the Florida administrative code first mandated that licensees’ biennial continuing education requirement was to include two hours of training on the prevention of medical errors, there was a considerable amount of grumbling on the part of many licensees in the mental health field. The general sense of it was that – since we do not practice medicine – what is the relevance to our practice? The level of discontent was further amplified by the content requirement proposed by several of the Florida boards, which required specific topics to be included, topics that seemed to be more relevant to medical practice than psychotherapy practice.

Eventually, the courses offered by some accredited providers began to be more closely tailored to the needs of professionals who attend their clients’ psychological and emotional needs rather than to their medical needs. Preventing Medical Errors in Behavioral Health was written to include all of the elements that are required for an approved medical errors course while including topics and case examples that will resonate with both novice and seasoned mental health professionals. While it remains a required course for Florida licensees and satisfies their biennial requirement, it is also intended to be of clinical interest to psychotherapists in other states who wish to increase their awareness of the ways in which clients can be harmed and the many strategies for avoiding such undesirable outcomes. Its emphasis is on areas within mental health practice that carry the potential for “medical” errors. Examples include improper diagnosis; breaches of privacy and confidentiality; mandatory reporting requirements; managing dangerous clients; boundary violations and sexual misconduct; the informed consent process; and clinical and cultural competency. There are major new sections on psychotherapy in the digital age, including the use of social networking systems, the practice of teletherapy, and the challenges of maintaining and transmitting electronic records. *This course satisfies the medical errors requirement for license renewal of Florida mental health professionals. Course #21-03 | 2015 | 28 pages | 14 posttest questions

This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. You can print the test (download test from My Courses tab of your account after purchasing) to mark your answers on it while reading the course document. Then submit online when ready to receive credit.

CE Information:

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists; the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (#PCE1625); the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).