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Personal Protective Equipment for Infectious Disease Preparedness: A Human Factors Evaluation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 June 2016

Tracey A. Herlihey
Affiliation:
Healthcare Human Factors, Techna Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada
Stefano Gelmi
Affiliation:
Healthcare Human Factors, Techna Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada
Christopher J. Flewwelling
Affiliation:
Healthcare Human Factors, Techna Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada
Trevor N. T. Hall
Affiliation:
Emergency Preparedness & Ontario’s Emergency Medical Assistance Team, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Canada
Carleene Bañez
Affiliation:
Healthcare Human Factors, Techna Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada
Plinio P. Morita
Affiliation:
Healthcare Human Factors, Techna Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada
Paul Beverley
Affiliation:
Emergency Preparedness, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada
Joseph A. Cafazzo
Affiliation:
Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
Susy Hota
Affiliation:
Infection Prevention and Control Unit, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada University of Toronto, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Toronto, Canada
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To identify issues during donning and doffing of personal protective equipment (PPE) for infectious diseases and to inform PPE procurement criteria and design.

DESIGN

A mixed methods approach was used. Usability testing assessed the appropriateness, potential for errors, and ease of use of various combinations of PPE. A qualitative constructivist approach was used to analyze participant feedback.

SETTING

Four academic health sciences centers: 2 adult hospitals, 1 trauma center, and 1 pediatric hospital, in Toronto, Canada.

PARTICIPANTS

Participants (n=82) were representative of the potential users of PPE within Western healthcare institutions.

RESULTS

None of the tested combinations provided a complete solution for PPE. Environmental factors, such as anteroom layout, and the design of protocols and instructional material were also found to impact safety. The study identified the need to design PPE as a complete system, rather than mixing and matching components.

CONCLUSIONS

Healthcare institutions are encouraged to use human factors methods to identify risk and failure points with the usage of their selected PPE, and to modify on the basis of iterative evaluations with representative end users. Manufacturers of PPE should consider usability when designing the next generation of PPE.

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2016;37:1022–1028

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
© 2016 by The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. All rights reserved 

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