Australian Patient Safety Foundation


The APSF Research Group currently includes four staff - Professor Runciman, Dr Tim Schultz, Ms Natalie Hannaford and Ms Anita Deakin. They are responsible for collection of patient safety reference material, analysis of patient safety data, and production and dissemination of reports and peer-reviewed literature. The group is ably supported by Ms Kaye Dolman, personal assistant to Professor Runciman, and APSF Finance Officer, Ms Randi Cross.

Professor Bill Runciman

Bill has been President of the Australian Patient Safety Foundation since its inception in 1988, when, together with anaesthesia colleagues, he conceptualised and implemented AIMS in the form of a nation-wide paper-based anaesthesia incident monitoring project. Since then he has provided leadership and made fundamental contributions to patient safety and quality research both in Australia and internationally. Bill was concurrently the Foundation Professor of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care at the University of Adelaide and Head of Department at the Royal Adelaide Hospital from 1988 to 2007. He was a member of the Australian Council for Safety and Quality in Health Care and of the Australian Health Information Council. In 2007, Bill was appointed as a Professorial Research Fellow in Patient Safety at the Joanna Briggs Institute of University of Adelaide and Royal Adelaide Hospital. He also held appointments as an Adjunct Professor, Human Factors in Healthcare, at the University of South Australia and a Visiting Professor in Change Management at the Centre for Clinical Governance Research in Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales. Currently Bill is Professor of Patient Safety & Healthcare Human Factors, School of Psychology, Social Work & Social Policy, University of South Australia, Professorial Research Fellow for the Joanna Briggs Institute, Royal Adelaide Hospital and Visiting Professor, Australian Institute of Health Innovation, University of NSW. Bill was a co-author of the landmark Quality in Australian Health Care Study published in the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) in 1995, one of the top 10 cited studies published in the MJA. Bill has been involved in the publication of over 200 scientific papers and chapters and has given over 600 lectures by invitation. In 2007, he published the patient safety textbook: Runciman B, Merry A, Walton M, 'Safety and Ethics in Healthcare: a Guide to Getting It Right', Ashgate, Aldershot, 2007. In 2007, Bill was awarded the Pugh Award of the Australian Society of Anaesthetists in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the science of anaesthesia, intensive care or related disciplines. In 2008, Bill was also awarded the Sidney Sax Medal of the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association for outstanding contribution in the field of health services policy, organisation, delivery and research.

Dr Tim Schultz

Tim is Technical Director and responsible for the day-to-day management of the APSF. He has a research background in comparative physiology and in 2007 completed a Graduate Diploma in Public Health (University of Adelaide). He has experience in conducting and developing methods for systematic reviews, evaluation of health services and patient safety initiatives and translating research evidence into practice. Tim is responsible for ensuring the security of the national aggregated patient safety databases stored at the APSF, and co-ordinates database searches, interpretation and analysis of patient safety incidents. Current projects include developing and pilotting an incident reporting system for Emergency Medicine, management of the Radiology Adverse Events Register and collaborations with School of Nursing (University of Adelaide). Tim commenced at the APSF in May 2008 and has adjunct research associate positions with Joanna Briggs Institute and University of South Australia.

Ms Anita Deakin

Anita is Research Fellow at the APSF. She has been working in incident monitoring and patient safety since 1999, initially for APSF, then for 7 years at Patient Safety International (now CSC), and returned to APSF in 2012. Beginning in 1999 as an AIMS classifier, she became the Senior Classification Officer and then moved into Client Services and Support, responsible for client training and manual development. This then led to her role in software development as the Principal Ontology Developer responsible for the management and design of the AIMS classification system. She has also been involved as a consultant in the development of the WHO International Classification for Patient Safety. Since her return to the APSF she has been involved in various projects utilising her vast knowledge and experience in data management and incident classification. Anita’s background in health began as a Registered Nurse predominantly in the Acute and Aged Care sectors. She holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Nursing), Cert IV in Occupational Health and Safety, along with various other certificates.