Structured What If Technique

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Structured What If Technique (SWIFT) is a prospective hazards analysis method that uses structured brainstorming with guide words and prompts to identify risks,[1] with the aim of being quicker than more intensive methods like Failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA).[2][3] It is used in various settings,[2] including healthcare.[1][3][4]


As with other methods, SWIFT may not be comprehensive and the approach has some limitations. In a healthcare context, SWIFT was found to reveal significant risks, but like similar methods (including healthcare failure mode and effects analysis) it may have limited validity when used in isolation.[3]


  1. ^ a b Card AJ, Ward JR, Clarkson PJ (2012). "Beyond FMEA: the structured what-if technique (SWIFT)". J Healthcare Risk Manage. 31: 23–29. doi:10.1002/jhrm.20101.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ a b Crawley F, Tyler B: Hazard identification methods. Rugby, UK: Institute of Chemical Engineers; 2003
  3. ^ a b c Potts H.W.W.; Anderson J.E.; Colligan L.; Leach P.; Davis S.; Berman J. (2014). "Assessing the validity of prospective hazard analysis methods: A comparison of two techniques". BMC Health Services Research. 14 (1): 41. doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-41. PMC 3906758. PMID 24467813.
  4. ^ Ward JR, Clarkson PJ, Buckle P, Berman J, Lim R, Jun GT: "Prospective hazard analysis: tailoring prospective methods to a healthcare context. Final report, Patient Safety Research Portfolio (Research Project PS/035)." Cambridge, UK: Engineering Design Centre, University of Cambridge; 2010.