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Int J Med Inform. 2010 May;79(5):339-48. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2010.01.016. Epub 2010 Feb 21.

A human factors and survey methodology-based design of a web-based adverse event reporting system for families.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology, and Therapeutics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.



Adverse event reporting systems allow healthcare institutions to detect and prevent recurrence of avoidable patient harm. It is known that standard reporting systems, which are initiated by clinicians, detect only a minority of chart-documented adverse events. The objective of the study was to develop a web-based system, the Family Reporting System (FRS), to elicit adverse event reports from families of children admitted to hospital through survey methodology and human factors engineering techniques.


Face validity and usability were measured via standardized survey instruments. Utility was measured via the rate, typology, degree of harm, likelihood of recurrence, quality of information, and inter-rater agreement analysis of the reported events.


The FRS has good face validity, excellent usability, and good clinical utility.


The application of survey and human factors methodologies to the design of an electronic system is an effective means of developing an electronic adverse event reporting system for the use of families of pediatric patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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