Qualitative Study of Technology-Induced Errors in Healthcare Organizations

Date

2013-12-20

Authors

Bellwood, Paule

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Abstract

Health information technology is continuously changing and becoming more complex and susceptible to errors. It is both an essential and disruptive innovation that requires proper management of risks arising from its use. To properly manage these risks, there is a need to, first, determine how healthcare organizations in Canada are addressing the issue of errors arising from the use of health information technology (i.e., technology-induced errors). The purpose of this thesis is to determine the level of technology-induced error awareness in Canadian healthcare organizations, to identify processes and procedures at these organizations aimed at addressing, managing, and preventing technology-induced errors, as well as to identify factors that contribute to technology-induced errors. The study finds that, based on the currently available literature, information about these errors in healthcare is not complete. This prevents the development and application of effective health information technology risk management solutions. The research from the semi-structured interviews finds that the definition of technology-induced errors is not consistent among the study participants. The research from the semi-structured interviews also finds a lack of consensus on factors that cause technology-induced errors as well as a lack of reporting mechanisms available that are specifically aimed at reporting technology-induced errors in healthcare. This confirms that there is a lack of technology-induced error awareness among Canadian healthcare organizations, which prevents the ability to properly address, manage, and prevent these errors.

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Keywords

technology-induced error, qualitative research, health information technology, risk management, error management and prevention, awareness

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