Patient Safety: An Engineering Approach, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Patient Safety

An Engineering Approach, 1st Edition

By B.S. Dhillon

CRC Press

234 pages | 30 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138115002
pub: 2017-05-31
Hardback: 9781439873861
pub: 2011-11-08
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pub: 2011-11-08
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With unintended harm during hospital care costing billions of dollars to the world economy, not to mention millions of deaths each year, it’s no wonder the issue is equally front and center in the minds of healthcare providers and the public. Although the issue has been tackled in journal articles and conference proceedings, there are very few books on the topic. And none consider how methods and techniques developed in the area of engineering can handle safety and human error-related problems. Until now.

Written by an expert with vast know-how in engineering management, design, reliability, safety, and quality, Patient Safety: An Engineering Approach brings together the pertinent information scattered throughout books and journals, eliminating the need to consult many different and diverse sources to find what you need. B.S. Dhillon draws on his real-world experience to demonstrate how to handle patient safety-related problems using engineering techniques and backs this up with references for further reading at the end of each chapter. He sets the stage with introductory chapters on mathematical, patient safety, and human factors concepts essential to understanding materials presented in subsequent chapters.

Dhillon’s clear, concise discussion of the topics presents the information in such a way that no previous knowledge is required to understand the contents, yet he does not present it at a merely rudimentary level. He brings a fresh approach and engineering perspective to the issues, giving you a new tool kit for performing patient safety-related analysis, designing better medical systems/devices, and handling patient safety-related problems from an engineering perspective.


" … an outstanding book covering the most up-to-date research translated into simple, easy-to-use methods, procedures and indicators. Dr. Dhillon is an international authority in the field of reliability, safety and human factors engineering and authored over 38 books covering various design and engineering aspects. The highlight of this book is that Dr. Dhillon is applying time-tested, proven engineering best practices to the field of patient safety and is invaluable to healthcare practitioners, administrators, academicians and researchers. It is an excellent, down-to-earth, easy-to-use pragmatic book with up-to-date coverage of literature."

-- Dr. Subramanyam Rayapati, IBM

Table of Contents



Patient Safety Facts and Figures

Terms and Definitions

Useful Information on Patient Safety

Scope of the Book



Patient Safety Mathematics


Range, Mode, Median, Arithmetic Mean, and Mean Deviation

Sets and Boolean Algebra Laws

Probability Definition and Properties

Probability Density Function, Cumulative Distribution Function, and Expected Value Definitions

Probability Distributions

Laplace Transform Definition, Common Laplace Transforms, and Final-Value Theorem

Solving First-Order Differential Equations Using Laplace Transforms



Safety and Human Factors Basics


Need for Safety and Safety-Related Facts and Figures

Common Causes of Work Injuries and Classifications of Product Hazards

Common Mechanical Injuries

Accident Causation Theories

Safety Management Principles

Human Factors Objectives and Disciplines Contributing to Human Factors

Human and Machine Characteristics

General Human Behaviors

Human Sensory Capabilities

Human Factors-Related Formulas



Methods for Performing Patient Safety Analysis


Failure Modes and Effect Analysis (FMEA)

Root Cause Analysis (RCA)

Hazard Operability Analysis (HAZOP)

Interface Safety Analysis (ISA)

Preliminary Hazard Analysis (PHA)

Technic of Operations Review (TOR)

Job Safety Analysis (JSA)

Six Sigma Methodology

Pareto Diagram

Fault Tree Analysis (FTA)

Markov Method



Patient Safety Basics


Patient Safety Goals

Causes of Patient Injuries and Examples of Factors Endangering Patient Safety at Various Levels of Health Care

Patient Safety Culture, Factors Contributing to Patient Safety Culture, and Its Assessment Objectives and Barriers

Safer Practices for Better Health Care

Areas of Improved Patient Safety from Enhanced Health Information Exchange

Patient Safety Program

Patient Safety Indicators


Medication Safety and Errors


Medication Safety in Emergency Departments

Medication Safety in Operating Rooms

Drug Labeling or Packaging-Related Problems

Prescribing Faults

Medication-Use Safety Indicators

Medication Error-Related Facts and Figures

Medication Errors Types and Common Reasons for Their Occurrence

Nursing-Related Factors in Medication Errors Occurrence

General Guidelines to Reduce the Occurrence of Medication Errors



Health Care Workers’ Role and Safety and Falls


Technology Commonly Used by the Nursing Profession

Relationship between Nursing Workload and Patient Safety

Health Care Worker Hazards

Health Care Worker Musculoskeletal and Needlestick Injuries and Latex Allergy

Health Care Workers’ Slip-, Trip-, and Fall-Related Concerns and Prevention Strategies

Inpatient Bed Falls

Wheelchair-Related Falls

Fall Prevention Recommendations for Acute and Long-Term Care



Human Error in Various Medical Areas and Other Related Information


Human Error in Anesthesia

Human Error in Emergency Medicine

Human Error in Operating Rooms

Human Error in Intensive Care Units

Human Error in Medical Technology Use, Laboratory Testing, Radiotherapy, and Image Interpretation

Factors Contributing to Human Error in Surgical Pathology and Causes of Wrong-Site Surgeries

Reasons for Clinicians Not Reporting and Disclosing Errors and Near Misses

Guidelines for Preventing the Occurrence of Medical Errors

Health Care Human Error Reporting Systems



Medical Device Safety and Errors


Types of Medical Device Safety and Medical Device Hardware and Software Safety

Essential Safety Requirements for Medical Devices, Legal Aspects of Medical Device Safety, and Medical Device Electrical Safety Standards

Software-Related Issues in the Safety of Cardiac Rhythm Management Products

Classifications of Medical Device Accidents and Medical Device Accident Occurrence Probability Estimation

Medical Devices with a High Incidence of Human Error

Medical Device Operator Errors

General Approach to Human Factors during the Medical Device Development Process for Reducing Human Errors



Medical Device Usability


Medical Device Users and Use Environments

Medical Device User Interfaces and Use Description

An Approach to Develop Medical Devices’ Effective User Interfaces

Useful Guidelines to Reduce Medical Device/Equipment User-Interface-Related Errors

Designing and Developing Medical Devices for Old User Population

Guidelines for Designing Hand-Operated Devices with Respect to Cumulative Trauma Disorder

Useful Documents for Improving Usability of Medical Devices



Patient Safety Organizations, Data Sources, and Mathematical Models


Patient Safety Organization Types and Functions

Governmental Patient Safety Organizations

Independent Patient Safety Organizations

Data Sources

Mathematical Models



Appendix: Bibliography—Literature on Patient Safety


Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / Service Industries
MEDICAL / Administration
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Health & Safety