image036Professor Bill Runciman

University of South Australia

Contact Details:

T: +61 412 183 889



Professor Runciman is a world leader in patient safety and quality research with fundamental contributions to the field in Australia and internationally. He was 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 has been President of the Australian Patient Safety Foundation since its inception in 1988. In 2014 the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) declared one his papers (The Quality in Australia Health Care Study) the most cited in the first 100 years of the MJA. He is also the most cited author in the 40-year history of the journal “Anaesthesia and Intensive Care”.

Professor Runciman in 1987 was instrumental in forming the Australian Patient Safety Foundation (APSF), the first national organisation in the world dedicated to advancing the cause of patient safety (with involvement in nearly 200 publications in this area). Early work included setting up and trialling incident reporting systems, being a chief investigator on the Quality of Australian Health Care Study (QAHCS) and resolving the apparent five-fold discrepancy between the adverse event rate in Australia and the USA.

He has been recipient of the top research awards of the Australian Society of Anaesthetists, the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, as well as of a Jubilee Medal from his alma mater. Professor Runciman was recently the third recipient of the Pugh Award for making an outstanding contribution to the advancement of the science of anaesthesia, intensive care and related disciplines. This was only the third time this award had been made since inception in 1996. Most recently he was awarded the Robert Orton Medal Award – the highest honour awarded by the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists.

Career citations 11,500, 27 papers with over 100, 85 papers with 50 or more, 150 with 10 or more citations (H-index 51).

Qualifications: B.Sc. (Med., University of the Witwatersrand, 1965); M.B.B.Ch. (University of the Witwatersrand, 1969); F.A.N.Z.C.A. (1975); F.J.F.I.C.M. (1981); F.H.K.C.A. (1983); F.R.C.A. (1983); Ph.D. (Flinders University of South Australia, 1983)

Address: Centre for Population Health Research, School of Health Sciences, Division of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, Level 8 SAHMRI, North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000

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