Agent-Based Modelling for Risk Assessment of Routine Clinical Processes
Prospective risk analysis is difficult in complex sociotechnical systems where humans interact with one other and with information systems. Traditional prospective risk analysis methods typically capture one risk at a time and rely on the specification of a chronological sequence of errors occurring in combination. The aim here is to introduce agent-based risk assessment (ABRA), which addresses these issues by simulating multiple concurrent and sequential interactions amongst autonomous agents that act according to their own goals. The methodology underlying the construction, simulation and validation of ABRA models is detailed along with practical considerations associated with implementation, for which the Brahms agent-based simulation framework is used. The challenges of implementing agent-based risk assessment models include the need for well-defined work processes and reliable observational data, and difficulties associated with behavioural validation. As an example illustrating the technique, a simple race condition hazard is implemented using an ABRA model. The work process involves a human operator and a machine interface that interact to sometimes produce the erroneous transfer of information. The correctness of the model is confirmed by comparing the simulated results against the well-defined theoretical baseline.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 3.Bharathy, G., Silverman, B.: Validating Agent Based Social Systems Models. In: Proceedings of the 2010 Winter Simulation Conference, pp. 441–453 (2010)Google Scholar
- 8.Cohen, M.R., Senders, J., Davis, N.M.: Failure Mode and Effects Analysis: A Novel Approach to Avoiding Dangerous Medication Errors and Accidents. Hospital Pharmacy 29, 319–330 (1994)Google Scholar
- 9.Dunn, A.G., Ong, M.-S., Westbrook, J.I., Magrabi, F., Coiera, E., Wobcke, W.R.: A Simulation Framework for Mapping Risks in Clinical Processes: The Case of In-Patient Transfers. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (to appear, 2011)Google Scholar
- 11.Epstein, J.M.: Why Model? Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 11(4), 12 (2008)Google Scholar
- 12.Griffith, C., Obee, P., Cooper, R.: The Clinical Application of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP). American Journal of Infection Control 33, e39 (2005)Google Scholar
- 14.Klügl, F.: A Validation Methodology for Agent-Based Simulations. In: Proceedings of the 2008 ACM Symposium on Applied Computing, pp. 39–43 (2008)Google Scholar
- 18.Ong, M.-S., Coiera, E.: Safety Through Redundancy: A Case Study of In-Hospital Patient Transfers. Quality and Safety in Health Care (2010) (to appear) Google Scholar
- 22.Runciman, B., Merry, A., Walton, M.: Safety and Ethics in Healthcare, Ashgate, Aldershot (2007)Google Scholar
- 26.Windrum, P., Fagiolo, G., Moneta, A.: Empirical Validation of Agent-Based Models: Alternatives and Prospects. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 10(2), 8 (2007)Google Scholar