Decisions about critical events in device-related scenarios as a function of expertise.
Using the concepts of "sharp" and "blunt" ends of practice, this article explores health professionals' differing opinions on biomedical device-related errors. Investigators requested that study participants express their views on events surrounding three true-error scenarios. Analysis of the transcribed responses revealed that interpretation varied widely between groups. While clinicians focused on clinical and human factors, biomedical engineers focused on device-related issues, and administrators emphasized documentation and training. The authors conclude that individual expertise largely mediates an error analysis, as no single interpretation provides a comprehensive view of all contributing factors.