Safe design of medical equipment: employing usability heuristics to examine the issue of guidewire retention after surgery

Horberry, Tim, Teng, Yi-Chun, Ward, James and Clarkson, P. John. (2013). Safe design of medical equipment: employing usability heuristics to examine the issue of guidewire retention after surgery. In: HFESA Conference Proceedings - 2013. HEFSA 2013: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia 2013 Annual Conference, Perth, Australia, (). 2-4 December 2013.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Horberry, Tim
Teng, Yi-Chun
Ward, James
Clarkson, P. John.
Title of paper Safe design of medical equipment: employing usability heuristics to examine the issue of guidewire retention after surgery
Conference name HEFSA 2013: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia 2013 Annual Conference
Conference location Perth, Australia
Conference dates 2-4 December 2013
Proceedings title HFESA Conference Proceedings - 2013
Journal name Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia. Annual Conference Proceedings
Place of Publication Baulkham Hills, NSW, Australia
Publisher Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia (HFESA)
Publication Year 2013
Sub-type Fully published paper
Open Access Status
Total pages 7
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Background: Central Venous Catheterisation (CVC) is a medical procedure that has been linked with cases of retained guidewires in a patient after surgery. Whilst this is theoretically a completely avoidable complication, a guidewire of up to 60cm being retained in a patient’s vascular system poses a major risk. In recently reported cases, guidewires retained inside patients have not been detected for several years. Aims: The ultimate aim was to develop appropriate, operator-centred safe design solutions that reduce guidewire retention errors.

Method: This paper focuses specifically on the application of Nielsen's ten usability heuristics 1 to the issue of retained guidewires. Following the development of a task analysis of the procedure, three researchers (from medical, safety and human factors backgrounds) independently applied the usability heuristics, then met to analyse the findings.

Results: A range of usability problems were identified in the Central Venous Catheterisation procedure, and solutions to the identified issues were then proposed: these focused on the design of equipment, or the wider guidewire insertion procedure. The paper details the identified usability  problems and possible redesign solutions from the 10 usability heuristics.

Conclusion: Overall,  the application of the usability heuristics was found to be a useful method both to explore  medical device interface problems and to generate possible countermeasures. Further work to eliminate/engineer out the possibility of guidewires being retained is briefly reported.
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Presented as Paper #0005 during Session "Medical".

 
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Created: Fri, 06 Dec 2013, 15:46:12 EST by Dr Tim Horberry on behalf of Minerals Industry Safety and Health Centre