Human Factors

Martin Bromiley, an airline pilot, lost his wife in the course of a minor surgery in a UK hospital in what, he was told, was an unfortunate accident. Used to the way of managing accidents in aviation industry, he asked for a detailed investigation of what had happened. Probably his education and status helped a lot in getting that done and what the final report showed was that his wife death was the result of a serious medical error.

After that, he has created a movement in the UK to try to adapt aviation procedures to medical institutions in order to try to avoid preventable medical errors.

Here you have a full and interesting article about that story.

It fits perfectly well with “The Checklist Manifiesto” assumptions and purposes and it seems that there is a global ideology growing up under the general idea of “Human Factors” that identifies human attitudes, prejudices, flaws and weaknesses as a fundamental factor in the efficiency of human activities. These human factors, unlike technical development and training have not been taken into account by the different industries involved. Aviation being a pionier.

Here you have a post with a series of videos (including Bromiley’s and Gawande’s talks) centered in that concept in medical environment.

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