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Unremarkable errors: low-level disturbances in infusion pump use

Furniss, DJ; Blandford, A; Mayer, A; (2011) Unremarkable errors: low-level disturbances in infusion pump use. In: Proceedings of the 25th British Computer Society Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, BCS-HCI 2011, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom, 4-8 July 2011. (pp. pp. 197-204). BCS: Swindon, UK. Green open access

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In this paper we describe results from an exploratory study observing infusion pump use in practice. From 31 observations of pump programming we note 10 low-level disturbances, which we conceptualise in terms of unremarkable error. This data supports a view that well performing systems cope with error as part of their normal work. Users are able to recover from error and are resilient to performance deviations. However, it is not clear how we, as HCI researchers, should respond to these minor errors: should we aim to minimise them or instead aim to improve detection, recovery and control in safety-critical systems? What is clear is that without remarking on unremarkable error we cannot begin this dialogue and consider the handling of these issues. To conclude we recognise four important factors that influence remedial action, and we highlight the need for a socio-technical approach for making change that is appropriate for practice.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Unremarkable errors: low-level disturbances in infusion pump use
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://www.bcs.org/category/5676
Language: English
Additional information: Full text made available here with permission. Conference information at http://www.bcs.org/content/conEvent/5663
Keywords: Healthcare, Human error, Infusion pump, Medical device, Safety, Unremarkable
UCL classification: UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Psychology and Language Sciences (Division of) > UCL Interaction Centre
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Wolfson Institute and Cancer Institute Administration > Cancer Institute > Research Department of Cancer Biology
UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Computer Science
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1347246
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