Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 38 Number 4 2021 pp. 1122-1149

First, Do No Harm: Predictive Analytics to Reduce In-Hospital Adverse Events

Lin, Yu-Kai and Fang, Xiao


Inadequate patient safety is a serious issue in current medical practice. Medical errors cause adverse events (AEs) for patients and lead to premature deaths, unintended complications, prolonged hospital stays, and higher medical costs. Although the importance of AE prediction and prevention is well recognized in the information systems literature, there is a dearth of research on modeling and predicting AEs caused by medical errors. Following the design science research paradigm, this study describes the search, design, and evaluation of a novel in-hospital AE prediction model, called Stochastic Autoregressions for Latent Trajectories (SALT). The proposed model uniquely integrates generalized linear mixed model with multitask learning and stochastic time-series processes. Results from our empirical evaluation show that SALT outperforms prior state-of-the-art techniques in predicting AEs during patients’ hospital stays. Through a simulation, we further demonstrate significant cost savings potential when hospitals implement and integrate SALT in their inpatient care. This study contributes to the design science literature by formalizing the in-hospital AE prediction problem, on the one hand, and developing a novel graphical model to address the prediction problem, on the other. For healthcare practitioners and administrators, our predictive analytics approach unveils important insights to minimize AEs.

Key words and phrases: design science, healthcare predictive analytics, patient safety, medical errors, adverse events, HealthTech