IT incident detection and classification
Centre for Health Informatics
Research Stream: Patient Safety Informatics
Our classification of human factors and technical problems that contribute to IT incidents.
Project members - Macquarie University
Associate Professor Farah Magrabi - Associate Professor
Dr Ying Wang - Research Fellow
Dr Mei-Sing Ong - Honorary Research Fellow
Project main description
The systematic analysis of critical incidents is well-established in medical practice. Incidents can trigger root-cause analyses in health services, or provide early warnings of unexpected drug reactions or infectious outbreaks. Our research extends these methods to incidents associated with e‑health (i.e. patient harm due to an IT problem or difficulty in using software), and we are pioneering this approach internationally.
The goals of this project are to:
- detect IT incidents
- develop a robust classification for IT incidents
- use the classification to track the evolving causes of IT-related harm in Australia
- promulgate the classification internationally.
To detect IT incidents in general practice we have developed and trialeda new incident-monitoring system called TechWatch. Incidents can be reported to TechWatch either online or over the phone to trained operators. Since 2009 we have analysed 1,385 IT incidents in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom. The methods our research has generated have become the de facto international standard to detect and classify IT incidents.
Our classification had been used to examine 4,883 incidents, including by governments in the US and UK. In 2012 the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority used our classification system to examine one of the largest repositories of incidents in the US, and issued a Patient Safety Advisory with specific recommendations for the procurement, implementation and use of IT systems. At the same time the ECRI Institute, a US federal patient safety organisation, used our classification to undertake an in-depth analysis of incidents nationally (called a Deep Dive™).
In the UK our classification system was used by the National Health Servicein Wales and we collaborated with the Health and Social Care Information Centre in England to examine incidents from one of the largest civilian IT programs ever undertaken worldwide. Most recently our classification was implemented into the provincial incident monitoring system in British Columbia, Canada - BC Patient Safety & Learning System (BC PSLS).
We welcome enquiries about our classification and are happy to assist individuals and organisations who wish to use the schema to analyse IT incidents.
Opportunities (scholarships, grants and research positions)
Our postgraduate programs allow candidates to undertake advanced research leading to a Master's or PhD degree under the supervision of experienced senior research staff in one of AIHI’s research areas. Current research opportunities at AIHI.
- Magrabi F, Liaw ST, Arachi D, Runciman W, Coiera, E, Kidd, MR. Identifying patient safety problems associated with information technology in general practice: an analysis of incident reports. BMJ Quality and Safety, November 2015
- Magrabi F, Baker M, Sinha I, Ong MS, Harrison S, Kidd MR, et al. Clinical safety of England's national programme for IT: A retrospective analysis of all reported safety events 2005 to 2011. Int J Med Inform. 2015;84(3):198-206.
- Magrabi F, Ong MS, Runciman W, Coiera E. Using FDA reports to inform a classification for health information technology safety problems. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2012;19(1):45-53.
- Magrabi F, Ong MS, Runciman W, Coiera E. Patient safety problems associated with heathcare information technology: an analysis of adverse events reported to the US Food and Drug Administration. AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2011;2011:853-7.
- Magrabi F, Ong MS, Runciman W, Coiera E. An analysis of computer-related patient safety incidents to inform the development of a classification. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2010;17(6):663-70.
NHMRC Project Grant APP1022946, 630583
Professor Bill Runciman, University of South Australia and Australian Patient Safety Foundation
Professor Ric Day, St Vincent’s Clinical School, UNSW Medicine
Professor Michael Kidd, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Flinders University
Professor Siaw-Teng Liaw, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW Medicine
Professor Marie-Catherine Beuscart-Zéphir, Université de Lille Nord de France, France,
Professor Dean Sittig, University of Texas – Memorial Hermann Center for Healthcare Quality & Safety, Houston, Texas
Professor Christian Nohr, Danish Centre for Health Informatics, Department of Development and Planning, Aalborg University, Denmark
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Content owner: Australian Institute of Health Innovation Last updated: 23 Oct 2018 1:00pm