Patient safety is a central principle of healthcare professional practice that requires a significant consideration within the teaching curricula; however, there is a lack of special courses that focus on patient safety concepts in an integrated way in many countries. This study aims to assess the knowledge of medical and pharmacy students regarding patient safety concepts.


A cross-sectional study was conducted at Alfaisal University during the 2018-2019 school year. A survey consisting of 15 questions was designed with the help of the quality and patient safety department at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh (KFSHRC). The survey was validated and then electronically distributed to all students enrolled in the College of Medicine and College of Pharmacy.


A total of 304 (22%) of 1368 students completed the survey. The survey revealed that 51% of students had an acceptable understanding of the types of human error; however, 53% of students had little knowledge about the factors that lead to these errors and 61% did not know how to report an error. Many students (41%) reported being directly involved in an unsafe situation that may cause patient harm, such as a healthcare-related error, adverse event, or inconsistent care. Most students (90%) agreed that hiding errors to avoid further implications is unethical and reporting errors is the responsibility of every healthcare provider.


Most Alfaisal University students understand the significance of patient safety education and understand the types of human errors, yet the causes of errors and the protocols for reporting them were not well understood by most students.

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Competing Interests

Source of Support: None. Conflict of Interest: None.

Supplementary data