Applying System Engineering to Pharmaceutical Safety
While engineering techniques are used in the development of medical devices and have been applied to individual healthcare processes, such as the use of checklists in surgery and ICUs, the application of system engineering techniques to larger healthcare systems is less common. System safety is the part of system engineering that uses modeling and analysis to identify hazards and to design the system to eliminate or control them. In this paper, we demonstrate how to apply a new, safety engineering static and dynamic modeling and analysis approach to healthcare systems. Pharmaceutical safety is used as the example in the paper, but the same approach is potentially applicable to other complex healthcare systems. System engineering techniques can be used in re-engineering the system as a whole to achieve the system goals, including both enhancing the safety of current drugs while, at the same time, encouraging the development of new drugs.
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