Aviation’s Normal Operations Safety Audit: a safety management and educational tool for health care? Results of a small-scale trial
Authors Bennett SA
Received 6 January 2017
Accepted for publication 21 April 2017
Published 8 August 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 147—165
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewers approved by Dr Mary Schmeida
Peer reviewer comments 2
Editor who approved publication: Dr Kent Rondeau
Simon A Bennett
Civil Safety and Security Unit, School of Business, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
Background: A National Health Service (NHS) contingent liability for medical error claims of over £26 billion.
Objectives: To evaluate the safety management and educational benefits of adapting aviation’s Normal Operations Safety Audit (NOSA) to health care.
Methods: In vivo research, a NOSA was performed by medical students at an English NHS Trust. After receiving training from the author, the students spent 6 days gathering data under his supervision.
Results: The data revealed a threat-rich environment, where errors – some consequential – were made (359 threats and 86 errors were recorded over 2 weeks). The students claimed that the exercise improved their observational, investigative, communication, teamworking and other nontechnical skills.
Conclusion: NOSA is potentially an effective safety management and educational tool for health care. It is suggested that 1) the UK General Medical Council mandates that all medical students perform a NOSA in fulfillment of their degree; 2) the participating NHS Trusts be encouraged to act on students’ findings; and 3) the UK Department of Health adopts NOSA as a cornerstone risk assessment and management tool.
Keywords: aviation, safety audit, health care, management benefits, educational benefits
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