Breakout session F – Threat & Error Management: lessons learned from aviation
Life as a Consultant Symposium: Friday 16 March 2018
Delivered by: Captain Chris Cooper & Captain Richard Warren, Babcock Helicopters

Threats cause accidents and incidents; without them the world would be a safer place.  However, threats surround us everywhere, and range from the magnetic influence from the solar winds to the smallest of organisms waiting to take advantage of a warm host.  Threats can be seen to be dynamic; an external influence which you cannot control, or they can be latent; issues which are sat waiting to be released.

The Threat and Error Management framework is a conceptual model that assists in understanding, from an operational perspective, the inter-relationship between safety and human performance in dynamic and operationally challenging environments.

Like aviation, modern medicine is a dynamic environment with time-based decision making required by teams and individuals, which can result in the loss of life.   

To avoid accidents and incidents happening, think proactively rather than reactively. This will allow planning to reduce the impact of threat. It important for doctors to be aware of their own limitations and to ensure that there is a culture of openness and modelling good behaviour. Identifying what is the correct behaviour for each situation allows everyone to be aware of the procedure to follow. Do not be afraid to also speak up about bad behaviour as this will create actions to prevent incidents happening in the future.

Reviewed September 2021.