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HFES News and Bulletin

Prize-Winning Health-Care Ergonomics Research Just Released
Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The December special issue of Human Factors spotlights papers by the winner and finalists of the 2011 Human Factors Prize for Excellence in Human Factors/Ergonomics Research. The papers presented in this issue explore health-care ergonomics, broadly defined to include research at the intersection of health care and human factors/ergonomics.

The prize-winning paper, “Automation in Surgery: The Impact of Navigated-Control Assistance on Performance, Workload, Situation Awareness, and Acquisition of Surgical Skills,” reports a pair of studies designed to investigate the performance consequences of advanced automated navigation support for surgeons. Authors Dietrich Manzey, Maria Luz, Stefan Mueller, Andreas Dietz, Juergen Meixensberger, and Gero Strauss suggest that “navigated-control” assistance provides benefits for patient safety and surgical outcome.

The other four finalist papers address additional critical areas in the growing field of health-care ergonomics:

  • “Continuously Informing Vibrotactile Displays in Support of Attention Management and Multitasking in Anesthesiology,” by Thomas K. Ferris and Nadine Sarter
  • "Development and Validation of a Virtual Reality Simulator: Human Factors Input to Interventional Radiology Training,” by S. J. Johnson, S. Guediri, C. Kilkenny, and P. Clough
  • “Improving Medication Management through the Redesign of the Hospital Code Cart Medication Drawer,” by Justin B. Rousek and M. Susan Hallbeck
  • “Promoting Colorectal Cancer Screening in Outreach Campaigns,” by Tamera R. Schneider, Markus A. Feufel, and Hans J. Berkel

“We anticipate that these five articles will draw the health-care community's attention to HF/E and at the same time, highlight some critical health-care problems that can be addressed by the HF/E community,” said Nancy J. Cooke, PhD, Human Factors Prize Board of Referees Chair and past Human Factors Editor.

The online December special issue is at SAGE Journals Online at Questions about the journal or HFES may be directed to Communications Director Lois Smith (310/394-1811;

Details about the Human Factors Prize for Excellence in Human Factors/Ergonomics Research may be found at

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The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society is the world's largest nonprofit individual-member, multidisciplinary scientific association for human factors/ergonomics professionals, with more than 4,600 members globally. HFES members include psychologists and other scientists, designers, and engineers, all of whom have a common interest in designing systems and equipment to be safe and effective for the people who operate and maintain them. Watch science news stories about other HF/E topics at the HFES Web site. “Human Factors and Ergonomics: People-Friendly Design Through Science and Engineering”

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