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An approach to safety analysis of clinical workflows

Al-Qora'n, Lamis; Gordon, Neil; Sharvia, Septavera; Walker, Martin; Papadopoulos, Yiannis


Lamis Al-Qora'n

Martin Walker


A clinical workflow considers the information and processes that are involved in providing a clinical service. They are safety critical since even minor faults have the potential to propagate and consequently cause harm to a patient, or even for a patient's life to be lost. Experiencing these kinds of failures has a destructive impact on all the involved parties. Due to the large number of processes and tasks included in the delivery of a clinical service, it can be difficult to determine the individuals or the processes that are responsible for adverse events, since such an analysis is typically complex and slow to do manually. Using automated tools to carry out an analysis can help in determining the root causes of potential adverse events and consequently help in avoiding preventable errors through either the alteration of existing workflows, or the design of a new workflow. This paper describes a technical approach to safety analysis of clinical workflows, utilising a safety analysis tool (Hierarchically-Performed Hazard Origin and Propagation Studies (HiP-HOPS)) that is already in use in the field of mechanical systems. The paper then demonstrates the applicability of the approach to clinical workflows by applying it to analyse the workflow in a radiology department. We conclude that the approach is applicable to this area of healthcare and provides a mechanism both for the systematic identification of adverse events and for the introduction of possible safeguards in clinical workflows.


Al-Qora'n, L., Gordon, N., Sharvia, S., Walker, M., & Papadopoulos, Y. (2014). An approach to safety analysis of clinical workflows. Athens Journal of Health, 1(3), 201-216.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Aug 31, 2017
Publication Date Aug 31, 2014
Deposit Date Mar 29, 2016
Publicly Available Date Mar 29, 2016
Journal Athens journal of health
Electronic ISSN 2653-9411
Publisher Athens Institute for Education and Research
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 1
Issue 3
Pages 201-216
Keywords Clinical workflows, Safety analysis, Radiology
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Author's accepted manuscript of article published in: Athens journal of health, 2014, v.1, issue 3.


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©2016 The authors. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder

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