A System Dynamics Approach to Analyze Laboratory Test Errors




Guo, Shijing
Roudsari, Abdul
Garcez, Artur d’Avila

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Studies in Health Technology and Informatics


Although many researches have been carried out to analyze laboratory test errors during the last decade, it still lacks a systemic view of study, especially to trace errors during test process and evaluate potential interventions. This study implements system dynamics modeling into laboratory errors to trace the laboratory error flows and to simulate the system behaviors while changing internal variable values. The change of the variables may reflect a change in demand or a proposed intervention. A review of literature on laboratory test errors was given and provided as the main data source for the system dynamics model. Three “what if” scenarios were selected for testing the model. System behaviors were observed and compared under different scenarios over a period of time. The results suggest system dynamics modeling has potential effectiveness of helping to understand laboratory errors, observe model behaviours, and provide a risk-free simulation experiments for possible strategies.



Medical errors, clinical chemistry tests, laboratories, quality control


Guo, S., Roudsari, A. & Garcez, A.A. (2015). A system dynamics approach to analyze laboratory test errors. In Cornet, R., Stoicu-Tivadar, L., Hörbst, A., Calderón, C.L.P., Andersen, S.K. & Hercigonja-Szekeres, M. (Eds.), Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, Volume 210: Digital Healthcare Empowering Europeans (pp.266-270). Amsterdam, NL: IOS Press.