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Medical Safety

Medical errors cause approximately 98,000 patients to die each year. An Institute of Medicine (IOM) report suggests that the delivery of healthcare must fundamentally change to address medical error. In particular, it is now widely recognized that medical errors result from system rather than individual failures, leading the IOM report to advocate the development of healthcare systems that directly address patient safety. In particular, the IOM report states, "what is most disturbing is the absence of real progress… in information technology to improve clinical processes."

To address this concern, we have begun to investigate how current research in process definition and execution and in software verification and analysis can be applied and extended to help reduce errors and improve safety and efficiency in medical processes. In particular, we are exploring how to extend some current software engineering research techniques to define, monitor, coordinate, analyze, and improve the safety and efficiency of medical processes. Working with experts on medical safety and building upon our experience with process languages and with system verification and analysis, we plan to develop visual process representations for critical paths of care that capture, not only the standard paths, but also describe the exceptional situations that can arise and the inherent concurrency and multi-tasking frequently undertaken by extremely busy healthcare providers, and to provide the basis for careful analysis and evaluation leading to safety and efficiency improvements

Recent Publications

Toward Improving Surgical Outcomes by Incorporating Cognitive Load Measurement into Process-Driven Guidance
George S. Avrunin, Lori A. Clarke, Heather M. Conboy, Leon J. Osterweil, Roger D. Dias, Steven J. Yule, Julian M. Goldman, Marco A. Zenati, To appear in 2018 ICSE Workshop on Software Engineering in Healthcare Systems (SEHS), Gothenburg, Sweden, 2018. (UM-CS-2018-002)

[ ACM ] [ PDF ]

Cognitive Support During High-Consequence Episodes of Care in Cardiovascular Surgery
Heather M. Conboy, George S. Avrunin, Lori A. Clarke, Leon J. Osterweil, Julian M. Goldman, Steven J. Yule, Marco A. Zenati, Stefan C. Christov, 2017 IEEE Conference on Cognitive and Computational Aspects of Situation Management (CogSIMA), Savannah, GA, 2017, pp. 1-3. (UM-CS-2018-001)

[ IEEE ] [ PDF ]

Assessing the effectiveness of five process elicitation methods: A case study of chemotherapy treatment plan review
Stefan C. Christov, Jenna L. Marquard, George S. Avrunin, Lori A. Clarke , Applied Ergonomics, Vol. 59, Part A, pp. 364-376, March 2017. (UM-CS-2016-013)

[ ScienceDirect ] [ PDF ]

Specification and Analysis of Human-Intensive System Resource-Utilization Policies
Seung yeob Shin, Yuriy Brun, Leon J. Osterweil, SEHS '16 Proceedings of the International Workshop on Software Engineering in Healthcare Systems, May 14-22, 2016, Austin, Texas, pp. 8-14. (UM-CS-2016-015)


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