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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

A Coding Framework for Usability Evaluation of Digital Health Technologies
Mahdi Ebnali, Lauren Kennedy-Metz, Heather Conboy, Lori A. Clarke, Leon J. Osterweil, George S. Avrunin, Christian Miccile, Maria Arshanskiy, Annette Phillips, Marco Zenati, Roger Dias, To appear in the 2022 International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI International 2022). (UM-CS-2022-001)

[ PDF ]

Digital Cognitive Aids to Support Adaptation of Surgical Processes to COVID-19 Protective Policies
Heather M. Conboy, Lauren R. Kennedy-Metz, George S. Avrunin, Lori A. Clarke, Leon J. Osterweil, Roger D. Dias, Marco A. Zenati, 2020 IEEE Conference on Cognitive and Computational Aspects of Situation Management (CogSIMA), Victoria, BC, Canada, 2020, pp. 205-210. (UM-CS-2020-004)

[ IEEE ] [ PDF ]

Process Driven Guidance for Complex Surgical Procedures
George S. Avrunin, Stefan C. Christov, Lori A. Clarke, Heather M. Conboy, Leon J. Osterweil, Maro A. Zenati, In the American Medical Informatics Association 2018 Annual Symposium (AMIA 2018), November 3 - 7, 2018, San Francisco, CA. pp. 175-184. (UM-CS-2018-010)

[ Pubmed ] [ PDF ] [ Slides ]

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, In Proceedings of the International Workshop on Software Engineering in Healthcare Systems (SEHS '18), May 2018. pp. 2?9. (UM-CS-2018-002)

[ PubMed ] [ ACM ] [ PDF ]


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