Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 526419, 7 pages
Research Article

A Methodology for Validating Safety Heuristics Using Clinical Simulations: Identifying and Preventing Possible Technology-Induced Errors Related to Using Health Information Systems

School of Health Information Science, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada V8W 3P5

Received 17 November 2012; Accepted 12 February 2013

Academic Editor: James G. Anderson

Copyright © 2013 Elizabeth Borycki et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Internationally, health information systems (HIS) safety has emerged as a significant concern for governments. Recently, research has emerged that has documented the ability of HIS to be implicated in the harm and death of patients. Researchers have attempted to develop methods that can be used to prevent or reduce technology-induced errors. Some researchers are developing methods that can be employed prior to systems release. These methods include the development of safety heuristics and clinical simulations. In this paper, we outline our methodology for developing safety heuristics specific to identifying the features or functions of a HIS user interface design that may lead to technology-induced errors. We follow this with a description of a methodological approach to validate these heuristics using clinical simulations.