Wednesday began with a plenary lecture from Bryn Baxendale (@gaxmanbax). Bryn is a practising consultant anaesthetist, and leads the Trent Simulation and Clinical Skills Centre (@trentsimulation) at Nottingham University Hospitals.
Bryn has been working to understand E/HF and how to incorporate it into clinical training and practice over a number of years, and it was very valuable to see his perspective as a clinician. Although his inclusion of a depiction of the anaethetist’s and surgeon’s brain (see http://lifeinthefastlane.com/biological-basis-for-blood-brain-barrier/ for image and Lawrence Caldicott BMJ 2009 for full reference) was intended as a lighthearted acknowledgement that we need to consider the different characteristics that clinicians may display, and perhaps the implications of those characteristics for teamwork, he also highlighted an important point – many of the people that we as E/HF experts work with are also experts, and they bring vital tacit knowledge and expertise to the situation. We have known this for some time of course, but when considering how best to implement HF in context, it is worth remembering that ‘one size’ is unlikely to fit ‘all’. Making some effort to understand the context of work and past training of those who work in the settings we explore is critical to taking a systems perspective to E/HF. In addition, Bryn noted the value of simulation in supporting the path from competence to excellence. The very sad case involving Wayne Jowett at our local Nottingham hospital (see http://www.theguardian.com/society/2001/apr/19/health1) was noted, and Bryn emphasised that we should not simply just expect our clinicians to ‘try harder’:
and that, as is often the case, the causes of the incident were complex
Colin Drury’s Institute lecture focussed around the topic of ‘Big data analytics’ and considered its implications for Ergonomics and Human Factors. He was inspired by a book that I have also read:
- Mayer-Schönberger, V. and Cukier, K. (2013) Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think. John Murray.
This is a really well written book that I would certainly recommend – I didn’t agree with everything it proposed but it provided a really nice baseline example of the ways in which big data can be used, and the analytical challenges presented. The thing that really struck me when reading the book was how the approaches being taken to deal with data were often very simple correlational statistics.
Colin has outlined his Institute lecture in this paper: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25849898 and focussed on the importance of considering the goals of E/HF when handling big data, the implications of big data analytics for E/HF theory, and the ethical challenges of dealing with big data. I am looking at this area myself with colleagues as part of our work within the Horizon Digital Research Institute (www.horizon.ac.uk) so it was great to have Colin bring his perspective to the type of data that I believe more and more of us will be working with in the future.