Employing usability heuristics to examine the issue of guidewire retention after surgery

Horberry, Tim, Teng, Yi-Chun, Ward, James and Clarkson, P. John (2014) Employing usability heuristics to examine the issue of guidewire retention after surgery. Ergonomics Australia, 1 1: 1-5.

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Author Horberry, Tim
Teng, Yi-Chun
Ward, James
Clarkson, P. John
Title Employing usability heuristics to examine the issue of guidewire retention after surgery
Journal name Ergonomics Australia
ISSN 1033-1875
Publication date 2014-02-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 1
Issue 1
Start page 1
End page 5
Total pages 5
Place of publication Baulkham Hills, NSW, Australia
Publisher Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
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 possiblity of guidewires being retained is briefly reported.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Minerals Industry Safety and Health Centre Publications
Official 2015 Collection
Sustainable Minerals Institute Publications
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Created: Wed, 12 Feb 2014, 14:48:21 EST by Dr Tim Horberry on behalf of Sustainable Minerals Institute