Course Summary

Practice Level: Intermediate

This course will examine the impact of medical errors on patients in mental health settings. It will reference best practices and ethical guidelines that can help to reduce and prevent medical errors. The course reviews the behavioral health goals set by The Joint Commission and ties in ethics codes for psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, and counselors. The course examines root cause analysis and applies it to medical errors (and prevention of those errors) in mental health settings related to competence, cultural competence, informed consent, HIPPA, confidentiality, mandatory abuse reporting, duty to protect, responding to suicide risk, failure to detect medical conditions, medication errors, and assessment errors. Case vignettes throughout the learning material highlight key learning points.

Course Format

This course contains downloadable online lessons (PDF) and a practice test. When you’re ready, purchase the course by clicking the “Add To Cart” button. This will let you take the test, complete the course evaluation and receive your certificate for CE credits.

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize the Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goals for behavioral health, approaches to prevent medical errors, and the consequences of medical errors.
  • Explain Root Cause Analysis processes to evaluate medical errors.
  • Describe the ethical guidelines related to competence (including multicultural competence), informed consent, confidentiality and mandated reporting.
  • Describe suicide assessment and assessment of medical conditions that present as psychological problems.

Course Syllabus

Definition of Medical Errors
                  Sentinel Events
Root Cause Analysis
                  Cultural Competence
                  Informed Consent
                  Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act
                  Mandatory Abuse Reporting
                  Duty to Protect
                  Responding to Suicide Risk
                  Failure to Detect Medical Conditions
                  Medication Errors
                  Assessment Errors
Psychological Effects of Medical Errors


Heidi Dalzell, Psy.D.

Heidi Dalzell, Psy.D. is a psychologist in private practice specializing in eating disorders, as well as dual addictions, trauma, domestic violence and depression. She conducts individual and couples therapy with adolescent and adult clients. In addition to authoring numerous mental health courses she frequently blogs and writes newspaper articles about mental health topics.

Accreditation Approval Statements, provider #1115, is approved as an ACE provider to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Regulatory boards are the final authority on courses accepted for continuing education credit. ACE provider approval period: 08/08/21-08/08/24. Social workers completing this course receive 2 ethics continuing education credits. has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6991. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

Courses have been approved by, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider #91345 is responsible for all aspects of the programming.

We are committed to providing our learners with unbiased information. CE4Less never accepts commercial support and our authors have no significant financial or other conflicts of interest pertaining to the material.

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