BIG Seminar: Unsafe healthcare devices, and how to improve them

17 April 2013, 1.30 PM - 17 April 2013, 1.30 PM

Venue: MVB 1.06. Speaker: Prof Harold Thimbleby, HonFRSA, FIET, CEng, FRCPE
Unsafe At Any Speed was the title of Ralph Nader’s damning critique of the 1960s car industry. We are at a similar position with today’s healthcare IT and with medical devices: we are unaware of the widespread design problems and how they contribute to adverse incidents. Every system examined has many possible ways to improve them to be safer. To start to improve healthcare IT systems and devices, we therefore suggest a safety scoring system. Making safety scores visible will enable all stakeholders (regulators, procurers, clinicians, incident investigators, journalists, and of course patients) to be better informed, and hence put pressure on manufacturers to improve systems.

Harold Thimbleby, HonFRSA, FIET, CEng, FRCPE is in Swansea University’s Department of Computer Science. He is a well-known computer scientist, but became concerned about healthcare systems when one of his students ended up in intensive care. He has since been working on human error and system design, to make healthcare safer. His 2007 book on his work Press On (MIT Press) has won two international prizes. Although a computer scientist, he was recently elected a Fellow of the Edinburgh Royal College of Physicians.

A talk in the BIG Seminar series.

Edit this page