Three key levers for achieving resilience in medication delivery with information technology

Emily S. Patterson*, David D. Woods, Emilie M. Roth, Richard I. Cook, Robert L. Wears, Marta L. Render

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Over the past several years, there has been an increase in interest in translating human factors knowledge and methods, primarily used in complex, event-driven, sociotechnical settings such as aviation, to health care. In this article, we overview the primary concepts in cognitive systems engineering that may aid in formulating interventions in a variety of diverse medical settings to reduce the likelihood of patient harm. To improve resilience in medication delivery, we propose immediately incorporating 3 key levers: (1) scenario-based design and evaluation of interventions, (2) advanced information visualization techniques to reduce data overload in the electronic medical record, and (3) explicit consideration and documentation of asynchronous, interdisciplinary teamwork support during software requirements analysis, including a workload shifting analysis. For long-term progress, we recommend investing in research to better understand technical work in health care, specifically task requirements in work domains and the trade-offs and strategies that workers use to meet these demands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-38
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Patient Safety
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Bar coding
  • CPOE
  • Human factor
  • Medical informatics
  • Medication error


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