Experience of head and neck theatre staff and attitudes to human factors using an aviation-based analysis and classification system—a pilot survey


      The role that human factors have in contributing to air crashes is well known and is included as an essential part of training. Awareness of human factors in surgery is increasingly being recognised but surprisingly few papers have come from head and neck specialties. We circulated a questionnaire on human factors based on an aviation model to 140 head and neck medical and ancillary staff who work in operating theatres in 3 large UK hospitals.
      Most positive responses were found in the consultant group followed by trainee doctors and support staff. A significant difference was found in the subcategories of Unsafe Supervision (p = 0.002) and Preconditions to Unsafe Acts (p = 0.001). This work will help to identify multi-system deficiencies that can be corrected, and highlights aspects that may yield the greatest reduction in surgical errors.


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