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COVID-19 Resource Center

Focus on ventilator usability

Topics

Ease of use affects patient safety

Ease of use, or usability, is the measure of a product’s potential to accomplish the user’s goals.

A device that has high usability is easy to learn and remember, allows efficient use of the operator’s time, causes few errors, and is aesthetically pleasing.[1] In short, high usability affects patient safety.[2] [3] [4]

 

Your choice of ventilator can affect patient safety

A recent usability study found that easier to use ventilators were associated with higher safety.[5] The differences between ventilators could be explained by the design, manufacturing quality and user expectations.

 

Compare ventilators in your ICU

Every ICU is different, and it is important to select a ventilator that your staff feels comfortable with. The form below outlines a selection of operating functions in a ventilator that are commonly used in the ICU. It can help you select the ventilator that suits you and your team best.

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All references

  1. Chatburn RL. Computer control of mechanical ventilation. Respir Care. 2004 May;49(5):507-17.1.

  2. FDA. Applying human factors and usability engineering to optimize medical device design. Food and Drug Administration. 2016. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/MedicalDevices/…/UCM259760.pdf. Accessed 14 July 2016.

  3. Carayon P, Wetterneck TB, Hundt AS, Ozkaynak M, Ram P, DeSilvey J, et al. Observing nurse interaction with infusion pump technologies. Adv Pat Saf. 2005;2:349–64.

  4. Zhang J, Johnson TR, Patel VL, Paige DL, Kubose T. Using usability heuristics to evaluate patient safety of medical devices. J Biomed Inform. 2003;36:23–30.

  5. Plinio P. Morita, Peter B. Weinstein, Christopher J. Flewwelling, Carleene A. Bañez, Tabitha A. Chiu, Mario Iannuzzi, Aastha H. Patel, Ashleigh P. Shier and Joseph A. Cafazzo. The usability of ventilators: a comparative evaluation of use safety and user experience. Crit Care. 2016 Aug 20;20:263.