Managing health sector risks

The research is directed at risk management in the health sector, with the focus on patient safety.

The principal objective of the work is to develop principles, methods and models based on a risk-informed approach to achieving patient safety in a resource-efficient manner.

A knowledge- and decision-oriented perspective on risk is applied, where uncertainty relating to consequences and outcomes is expressed both quantitatively and qualitatively.

The risk management will be based on perspective on risk developed at the UiS. Click here for more information.

Priority area
The regional collaboration committee for the Western Norway Regional Health Authority has defined patient safety as a priority area.

People are increasingly coming to understand that systematic methods can help to improve patient safety while meeting the need for efficient use of resources.

Risk management represents a key method – or, more accurately, approach – and can hopefully make substantial contributions in this area. However, its implementation is not straightforward.

As a relatively young scientific discipline, risk management poses a number of challenges, relating to risk characterizations, analysis, assessments and communication.

Other challenges include the way uncertainty is to be handled, methods for reflecting system-specific information, and the use of expected values as well as cost-benefit analyses.

These issues are addressed in contexts relating to patient safety. Decision situations discussed include government strategies, equipment investment for the health service as a whole and individual patient treatment.

The research will primarily focus on developing theories and methods for:

  • structuring risk-related decision problems and processes
  • analysing vulnerability and risk
  • managing risk and making decision in conditions of uncertainty.

Project manager: Professor Terje Aven
PhD student Karianne Eidesen is involved in the research.

Selected litterature
Aven, T and Eidesen, K. 2006. Uncertainty analyses of cost-effectiveness measures in health care. Proceedings of European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL), Estoril, Portugal: vol. 2: 1755-1760

Aven, T. and Eidesen, K. (2007) A predictive Bayesian approach to risk analysis in health care. BMC Medical Research Methodology, to appear.

Eidesen.K. & T. Aven (2007) An evaluation of risk assessment as a tool to improve patient safety and prioritise the resources. Proceedings ESREL 2007. Stavanger 25-27 June.

Sollid, S., Eidesen, K., Aven, T. and Søreide, E. (2007) Risk assessment in critical care medicine - a tool to assess patient safety. Proceedings ESREL 2007. Stavanger 25-27 June.