SafetyDog

Usability and Safety

In ergonomics, Human Factors, Patient Safety, Resiliency, safety on November 24, 2010 at 2:13 pm

* please watch video at the end of this post*
In reading articles and other literature on safety one will find recommendations based on their strength of effectiveness.
Here is a chart from an article by Stevens, Urmson, Campbell and Damignani (2010):

How it works: A simple safety intervention in a hospital is to have everyone wearing visible picture IDs. Problem: the IDs keep flipping over hiding the face and name of the employee. Solutions from least effective to most effective:

  • put a warning on the non-picture side that says “this side faces in” (safety still depends on human action)
  • train the employees to remember to periodically check to ensure their badge is facing out (safety depends on human memory)
  • put the picture on BOTH sides of the badge so the flipping over does not compromise the safety system (safety achieved from designing forced function!)

We tend to rely too much on training and memory: read more. It’s time to really focus on using principles of engineering and psychological to design in safety for everything we do.

For a better explanation than mine Watch Don Norman who is the author of an interesting book called “The design of everyday things.”
[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/AYHNuigC%5D

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