Structured what-if technique

The structured what-if technique (SWIFT) is a prospective hazards analysis method that uses structured brainstorming with guidewords 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, including healthcare.[1][2][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.[2]


  1. ^ a b Card, Alan J.; Ward, James R.; Clarkson, P. John (2012). "Beyond FMEA: The Structured What-if Technique (SWIFT)". Journal of Healthcare Risk Management. 31 (4): 23–29. doi:10.1002/jhrm.20101. PMID 22528401.
  2. ^ a b c Potts, Henry W.W.; Anderson, Janet E.; Colligan, Lacey; Leach, Paul; Davis, Sheena; Berman, Jon (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.
  3. ^ a b Crawley, Frank (2020). A Guide to Hazard Identification Methods (2nd ed.). Amsterdam and Oxford: Elsevier. doi:10.1016/C2018-0-05378-5. ISBN 978-0-12-819543-7.
  4. ^ Ward, James; Clarkson, John; Buckle, Peter; Berman, Jon; Lim, Rosemary; Jun, Thomas (2010). Prospective Hazard Analysis: Tailoring Prospective Methods to a Healthcare Context. Research Project PS/035. Patient Safety Research Programme of the Department of Health (V1.1 ed.). Cambridge: University of Cambridge. Archived from the original on 2023-12-15. Retrieved 2023-12-15.