Journal of Surgical Simulation 2016; 3: A: 8 - 8

Published: 25 February 2016


Oral presentation

Special Issue: Advancing patient safety - the role of hospital IT (and the chief nurse)

Sheila Adam
Corresponding author: Sheila Adam, Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Homerton Row, London, E9 6SR, UK. Email:


Patient safety is a complex construct with many multi-dependent factors which contribute to a greater or lesser degree in different situations. Although patients and their care have increased in complexity, safety has improved over time. Theoretical models of safety have focussed on culture, processes, recognition/anticipation and learning from failure as well as many other components.  Different approaches and tools are needed to address different elements. The reliability of processes and their resilience to other stressors (such as workload) can be a strong foundation on which to build. Use of information technology and electronic patient records can contribute to this element of safety by signposting (to standards and guidance), alerting (to risk), prompting (for comprehensive documentation), eliminating calculation errors, and sharing information across multiple points of access. Systems cannot in themselves make the patient safer:  the human interface and the way the system is used is also vital.


patient safety; information technology; electronic patient record; complexity; human factors

Additional Information

This presentation was given at the Fifth Annual Homerton Simulation Conference: Innovations in Healthcare, Patient Safety and Simulation, Homerton University Hospital, London, UK, on 10 December 2015.

Conflicts of interest: none declared.