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Yearb Med Inform. 2016 Nov 10;(1):30-40.

Methods for Addressing Technology-induced Errors: The Current State.

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Elizabeth Borycki, Professor, School of Health Information Science, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, E-mail:



The objectives of this paper are to review and discuss the methods that are being used internationally to report on, mitigate, and eliminate technology-induced errors.


The IMIA Working Group for Health Informatics for Patient Safety worked together to review and synthesize some of the main methods and approaches associated with technology- induced error reporting, reduction, and mitigation. The work involved a review of the evidence-based literature as well as guideline publications specific to health informatics.


The paper presents a rich overview of current approaches, issues, and methods associated with: (1) safe HIT design, (2) safe HIT implementation, (3) reporting on technology-induced errors, (4) technology-induced error analysis, and (5) health information technology (HIT) risk management. The work is based on research from around the world.


Internationally, researchers have been developing methods that can be used to identify, report on, mitigate, and eliminate technology-induced errors. Although there remain issues and challenges associated with the methodologies, they have been shown to improve the quality and safety of HIT. Since the first publications documenting technology-induced errors in healthcare in 2005, we have seen in a short 10 years researchers develop ways of identifying and addressing these types of errors. We have also seen organizations begin to use these approaches. Knowledge has been translated into practice in a short ten years whereas the norm for other research areas is of 20 years.


Technology-induced error; health information technology; patient safety; risk management; safety

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