The human factors surrounding system change in breast cancer screening: a case study
2008-01-17T16:18:52Z (GMT) by
Screening for breast cancer involves examination of mammograms. Conventional filmscreen mammography is being surpassed with the implementation of digital soft copy film reporting. However, little thought has been given to the human factors associated with the allied period of system changeover. This study considered the human factors implications with respect to comfort, performance and efficiency of work tasks. The purpose of this project was to examine the human factors issues surrounding the implementation of the new technology and prepare recommendations relevant to practitioners for improved implementation practice. A combination of techniques (expert walkthroughs, verbal protocol analysis, interviews, work station assessments) were applied to examine existing and revised working practices during mammography film reading. Eight Radiologists and Radiographer Advanced Practitioners within two Breast Screening Units participated to enable a thorough understanding to be gained of strategies adopted when using the different systems and the combination of systems. A variety of changes in working practices were recognised to have occurred with the new system (digital) implementation. There was an impact upon technique, comfort, performance and efficiency during digital soft copy reporting when viewing analogue priors. Subsequent recommendations for workstation design, working practices and training were produced to assist in improved implementation of digital processes in mammography. The project demonstrated that implementation of new technology needs to be thoroughly assessed to alleviate any potentially problematic human factors issues.