Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Qual Saf Health Care. 2005 Feb;14(1):56-60.

Safety in the operating theatre - Part 2: human error and organisational failure.

Abstract

Over the past decade, anaesthetists and human factors specialists have worked together to find ways of minimising the human contribution to anaesthetic mishaps. As in the functionally similar fields of aviation, process control and military operations, it is found that errors are not confined to those at the "sharp end". In common with other complex and well defended technologies, anaesthetic accidents usually result from the often unforeseeable combination of human and organisational failures in the presence of some weakness or gap in the system's many barriers and safeguards. Psychological factors such as inattention, distraction and forgetfulness are the last and often the least manageable aspects of the accident sequence. Whereas individual unsafe acts are hard to predict and control, the organisational and contextual factors that give rise to them are present before the occurrence of an incident or accident. As such, they are prime candidates for treatment. Errors at the sharp end are symptomatic of both human fallibility and underlying organisational failings. Fallibility is here to stay. Organisational and local problems, in contrast, are both diagnosable and manageable.

Comment in

PMID:
15692005
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1743973
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk