Using Process Modeling and Analysis Techniques to Reduce Errors in Healthcare

Lori A. Clarke
Chair of the School of Computer Science
University of Massachusetts, Amherst and, Co-Director of the Laboratory for Advanced Software Engineering Research (LASER)
TECH Center Room 111
Friday, November 1, 2013 - 11:00
As has been widely reported in the news lately, healthcare errors are a major cause of death and suffering. In the University of Massachusetts Medical Safety Project, we are exploring the use of process modeling and analysis technologies to help reduce medical errors and improve efficiency. Specifically, we are modeling healthcare processes using a process definition language and then analyzing these processes using model checking, fault-tree analysis, discrete event simulation, and other techniques. Working with the UMASS School of Nursing and the Baystate Medical Center, we have undertaken in-depth case studies of error-prone and life- critical healthcare processes and demonstrated a significant reduction in the number of errors reaching patients.
This talk describes the technologies we are using, discusses case studies, and presents our observations and findings to date. Although presented in terms of the healthcare domain, the described approach could be applied to human-intensive processes in other domains to provide a technology-driven approach to process improvement.