Dynamic Model of Accidents

Elisabeth Paté-Cornell, Stanford University

The patient risk in anesthesia highlights the dynamics of accidents. The problem: How can the management of anesthesia systems be improved to decrease patient risks that could occur in the operating room environment? To compute the probability of an accident of all scenarios, a dynamic model helps to understand how fast things could go wrong once an accident first occurred and how fast someone must react to resolve the problem. Among the contributing factors causing an accident (work schedule, training, and experience), Dr. Elisabeth Paté-Cornell, department chair of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University, says that simulated training helped decrease accidents by an optimistic 16 percent.