Healthcare organizations are under intense pressure to reduce/contain costs and enhance productivity while attending to concerns about care quality as well as patient and staff safety. The goal of this educational series is to prepare nurses with the skills to plan, lead and be at the forefront of creating improvements. Nurses are the largest group of care providers and are expected to contribute to the process by which patient care and safety improvements are accomplished. The skills needed to contribute to the process of improving patient care and safety are collectively referred to as performance and quality improvement (QI) methods and tools. Nurses are expected to have these QI skills within their first year of practice and related content is included in the NCLEX exam blueprint.

The Patient Safety and Quality Improvement (QI) Methods and Tools for Nurses series includes six open content modules and a virtual interactive game (serious game). Each module will take up to 2 hours to complete.

Funding for this project was provided by the eCampus Ontario Open Content Initiative 2016-2018.


The modules are sequenced so that your knowledge of patient safety and quality improvement methods and tools builds from module to module. You can also choose to go directly to the module or modules of interest. Each module begins with an overview of the content, learning objectives and a self-assessment quiz to help you identify your learning needs. It is recommended that you complete the modules before starting the serious game. The game is intended to test your knowledge and show an application of the concepts described in the modules.


The modules can be used in full or in part to supplement or replace existing lesson plans for courses/classes aimed at developing an understanding of patient safety and quality improvement. Refer to the tab "About This Resource" for more details.

Learning Modules

    Learning Outcomes

    Upon successfully working through the modules and the serious game simulation, you will be able to:

    • Explain the importance of integrating quality of care, efficiency and healthy work environments into quality improvement processes.
    • Apply systems knowledge of human and environmental factors to optimize patient safety in clinical practice.
    • Demonstrate behaviour supportive of a patient safety culture.
    • Understand organizational approaches to achieve highly reliable and high performing work systems to support patient safety and quality care.
    • Apply core elements of the quality improvement process including problem analysis tools, the Model for innovation and the Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles, teamwork and change management.
    • Appreciate that quality improvement is an essential part of the daily work of all healthcare professionals.