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Ergonomics & Human factors 2018

Archives of Medicine

ISSN: 1989-5216

Page 40

July 26-27, 2018

Rome, Italy



Edition of International Conference on

Ergonomics &

Human Factors


Functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) is a

common surgical procedure performed in all major ENT centres.

Understanding the mechanisms behind human errors in FESS

has potential to reduce the adverse events and improve the risks

associated with undergoing FESS.


The aim of the study is to develop a hierarchical task listing

of steps required to perform Functional endoscopic sinus surgery

(FESS). To complete a technical and human factor analysis of

tasks resulting in the identification of errors, frequency, severity,

and reduction through remediation.


A triangulation of methods was used in order to derive

the steps required to complete a FESS: (1) a literature review

was conducted on published descriptions of FESS techniques;

(2) observations of three FESS; (3) interviews with 5 surgeons

on FESS techniques. Data sets were combined to develop a task

analysis of a correct approach to conducting FESS. A review by

12 surgeons, and observation of 20 FESS resulted in refinement

of the task analysis. With input from 5 consultant surgeons and

2 consultant anaesthetists, a Systematic Human Error Reduction

and Prediction Approach (SHERPA) was used to identify the risks

and mitigating steps in FESS.


Hierarchical Task Analysis and SHERPA are valuable

tools to deconstruct performance and to highlight potential errors

in FESS. The HTA and SHERPA approaches are useful learning

and assessment tools for novice surgeons. The information

offers the opportunity to improve surgical training and enhance

patient safety.


Mel Corbett obtained his primary degree in NUI Galway School of Medicine

in Republic of Ireland in 2017. He is currently pursuing MSc in Health Infor-

matics from the University of Limerick, while concurrently completing his

intern year in University Hospital Limerick, Republic of Ireland. He will be

commencing the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland Core Surgical Training

scheme in July 2018. His research interests include: quality improvement

in healthcare, sinus surgery and human factors in surgery. He has present-

ed nationally at the Irish Otolaryngology Society Conference and the Royal

Academy of Medicine in Ireland Section of Interns Study Day


[email protected]

Identifying and reducing risks in functional endoscopic sinus

surgery (FESS) through a hierarchical task analysis (HTA)

M Corbett


, P O’Connor



I Keogh



University Hospital Galway, Republic of Ireland


National University of Ireland Galway, Republic of Ireland

M Corbett et al., Arch Med 2018, Volume 10

DOI: 10.21767/1989-5216-C1-002