The dangers of increasing complexity in healthcare

Consequences can make accidents harder to foresee and prevent

By Deen Gu, Alison Amos and Lukasz Mazur

With the introduction of novel technologies, treatment protocols, pharmaceuticals and regulatory standards, healthcare delivery systems have become increasingly more complex. A complex system is defined by Charles Perrow, the author of several books on accidents in high-risk organizations, as one that has many parts, is interdependent in process and time, and has the potential for unforeseen or unplanned interactions.

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