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How external and internal resources influence user action: the case of infusion devices

Iacovides, I; Blandford, A; Cox, A; Back, J; (2016) How external and internal resources influence user action: the case of infusion devices. Cognition, Technology and Work , 18 (4) pp. 793-805. 10.1007/s10111-016-0392-0. Green open access

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Abstract

Human error can have potentially devastating consequences in contexts such as healthcare, but there is a rarely a simple dichotomy between errors and correct behaviour. Furthermore, there has been little consideration of how the activities of users (erroneous and otherwise) relate to the conceptual fit between user and device, despite the fact that healthcare technologies are becoming increasingly prevalent and complex. In this article, we present a study in which nurses’ conceptions of infusion device practice were elicited to identify misfits. By focusing on key concepts that users work with when setting up infusions and the extent to which the system supports them, our analysis highlights how actions are influenced by the different resources available to users including: the device itself; supporting artefacts; the conceptual understanding of the user; and the community of practice the user is part of. The findings reveal the ways in which users are resourceful in their day-to-day activities and also suggest potential vulnerabilities within the wider system that could threaten patient safety. Our approach is able to make previously under-explored aspects of practice visible, thus enabling insight into how users act and why.

Type: Article
Title: How external and internal resources influence user action: the case of infusion devices
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10111-016-0392-0
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10111-016-0392-0
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2016. Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Human error; Conceptual fit; Healthcare; Qualitative research
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > UCL Interaction Centre
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1521680
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