Safety challenges related to the use of medical equipment were investigated during the training of nurse anaesthetists in Haiti, using a systems approach to Human Factors and Ergonomics (HFE). The Observable Performance Obstacles tool, based on the Systems Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety (SEIPS) model, was used in combination with exploratory observations during 13 surgical procedures, to identify performance obstacles created by the systemic interrelationships of medical equipment. The identification of performance obstacles is an effective way to study the accumulation of latent factors and risk hazards, and understand its implications in practice and behaviour of healthcare practitioners. In total, 123 performance obstacles were identified, of which the majority was related to environmental and organizational aspects. These findings show how the performance of nurse anaesthetists and their relation to medical equipment is continuously affected by more than user-related aspects. The contribution of systemic performance obstacles and coping strategies to enrich system design interventions and improve healthcare system is highlighted. In addition, methodological challenges of HFE research in low-resource settings related to professional culture and habits, and the potential of community ergonomics as a problem-managing approach are described.

Human factors and ergonomics, Low-income countries, Medical equipment,
Applied Ergonomics: human factors in technology and society
Department of Neuroscience

Santos, A.L.R, Wauben, L.S.G.L, Guilavogui, S, Brezet, J.C, Goossens, R.H.M, & Rosseel, P.M.J. (2016). Safety challenges of medical equipment in nurse anaesthetist training in Haiti. Applied Ergonomics: human factors in technology and society, 53, 110–121. doi:10.1016/j.apergo.2015.06.011