The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2007 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

EVALUATION OF THE USER-INTERFACE SIMPLICITY OF MODERN GENERATION MECHANICAL VENTILATORS USED BY EXPERIENCED PHYSICIANS

Y. Uzawa1, N. Kaneko2, Y. Yamada3, M. Suzukawa4

(Background)At the previous AARC Congress, we reported the evaluation of the user-interface of mechanical ventilators used by resident physicians, and the results showed significant differences in the rates of operational failure and the subjective feelings regarding the ease of use among the ventilators tested. After the study, we hypothesized that experienced physicians would have a decreased rate of failure compared to resident physicians, however; the rates of operational failure might still occur if they are using an unfamiliar machine.

(Subjects)
Eleven experienced physicians who have the responsibility to operate and manage mechanical ventilators routinely in the critical care area were used. Two of the subjects had previous experience with the Evita XL, and seven with the Tyco PB 840 due to clinical availability.

(Methods)
Each subject was requested to operate a total of eight tasks that were conducted with the same protocol resident physicians used. Ventilator used: Drager Evita XL, Maquet Servo-i, Newport e500, and Tyco PB840. The number of operational failures and the time until the completion of tasks were recorded. After the series of tasks was completed on each ventilator, the subjects were asked to subjectively rate the ease of use by using a 100mm Visual Analog Scale.

(Results)
Over all operational failure rates were 11%. Subjects had more operational failures with the Drager Evita XL than the others. There was no significant difference in duration of time among ventilators, but we found that the Drager Evita XL tended to have a higher subjective rating of difficulty of use.

(Discussion)
In comparison with resident physicians (23% of operational failure), experienced physicians showed a lower failure rate although there was some experience bias in the group. However, operational failures still occur among experienced physicians and the incidences happened more often in the Evita XL than the Servo-i and NewPort e500 with which no subjects had experience. By observing experienced physicians’ performance, it appeared they were able to operate the ventilators intuitively. In the Evita XL, however, seemed to be more difficult to operate intuitively without practice because of its type of interface (multi-layer type).

(Conclusion)
Based on these results, standardization of the type of interface is preferable and medical education is important from the safety management perspective to prevent medical errors.

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