Toward a theoretical approach to medical error reporting system research and design

Appl Ergon. 2006 May;37(3):283-295. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2005.07.003. Epub 2005 Sep 22.


The release of the Institute of Medicine (Kohn et al., 2000) report "To Err is Human", brought attention to the problem of medical errors, which led to a concerted effort to study and design medical error reporting systems for the purpose of capturing and analyzing error data so that safety interventions could be designed. However, to make real gains in the efficacy of medical error or event reporting systems, it is necessary to begin developing a theory of reporting systems adoption and use and to understand how existing theories may play a role in explaining adoption and use. This paper presents the results of a 9-month study exploring the barriers and facilitators for the design of a statewide medical error reporting system and discusses how several existing theories of technology acceptance, adoption and implementation fit with many of the results. In addition we present an integrated theoretical model of medical error reporting system design and implementation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Equipment Design*
  • Focus Groups
  • Hospital Information Systems / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Medical Errors*
  • Midwestern United States
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Physicians
  • Risk Management*