As part of their keynote lecture at the 2017 Annual Congress of the German Interdisciplinary Association of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI), Hans Härting and Dr. Jens-Christian Schwindt explained how cockpit insights on training, teamwork, and safety can benefit the intensive care unit and emergency medicine. MEDICA-tradefair.com asked them about these aspects.
Mr. Härting, Dr. Schwindt, what can critical care physicians learn from aviation?
Hans Härting: For the past 20 to 30 years, aviation operations specialists have been legally obligated to participate in academic training in human factors and teamwork at regular intervals. This is not the case in the medical sector. Secondly, the aviation industry has a strong standardization of processes, which is absent in medicine and thus promotes error occurrence. Thirdly, in aviation, we prepare for specific situations using a simulator, while physicians learn from actual emergencies once they treat the patient.
What does the term "human factors" mean exactly?
Härting: It refers to the non-technical skills and human aspects that pertain to a person's awareness and responses to situations. "Human factors" is the area that acknowledges human fallibility and circumstances. There are limits to people's perceptual, cognitive and physical abilities; everyone gets tired at some point and affected by emotions. This needs to be addressed to illustrate that a zero error policy is something that is unrealistic.
The medical field still looks down upon and disapproves of safety tools that have been tried and tested in other systems such as checklists, closed-loop communication or briefings for instance. Medicine and aviation are drastically different in their cultures. In medicine, we concede that errors cost time and money but we neither spend time nor money to train teams, take them into a simulator and debrief them afterward. ...
Read the complete interview with Hans Härting and Dr. Jens-Christian Schwindt at MEDICA-tradefair.com!