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Are clinical documents optimised for patient safety? A critical analysis of patient safety outcomes using the EDA error model

Michell, V., Tehrani, G. and Liu, K. (2012) Are clinical documents optimised for patient safety? A critical analysis of patient safety outcomes using the EDA error model. Journal of Health Policy and Technology, 1 (4). pp. 214-227.

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Iatrogenic errors and patient safety in clinical processes are an increasing concern. The quality of process information in hardcopy or electronic form can heavily influence clinical behaviour and decision making errors. Little work has been undertaken to assess the safety impact of clinical process planning documents guiding the clinical actions and decisions. This paper investigates the clinical process documents used in elective surgery and their impact on latent and active clinical errors. Eight clinicians from a large health trust underwent extensive semi- structured interviews to understand their use of clinical documents, and their perceived impact on errors and patient safety. Samples of the key types of document used were analysed. Theories of latent organisational and active errors from the literature were combined with the EDA semiotics model of behaviour and decision making to propose the EDA Error Model. This model enabled us to identify perceptual, evaluation, knowledge and action error types and approaches to reducing their causes. The EDA error model was then used to analyse sample documents and identify error sources and controls. Types of knowledge artefact structures used in the documents were identified and assessed in terms of safety impact. This approach was combined with analysis of the questionnaire findings using existing error knowledge from the literature. The results identified a number of document and knowledge artefact issues that give rise to latent and active errors and also issues concerning medical culture and teamwork together with recommendations for further work.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Henley Business School > Business Informatics, Systems and Accounting
ID Code:31212

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