Predictive use error analysis – Development of AEA, SHERPA and PHEA to better predict, identify and present use errors
Journal article, 2014

In health care, the use of technical equipment plays an integral part. To achieve a high level of patient safety, it is important to avoid use errors when handling equipment. Use errors can be mitigated by performing analyses of potential use errors during the design process. One proactive analytical method for use error analysis is Predictive Use Error Analysis (PUEA), which is a further development of the methods Action Error Analysis (AEA), Systematic Human Error Reduction and Prediction Approach (SHERPA) and Predictive Human Error Analysis (PHEA). PUEA employs a detailed process for breaking down the user's tasks into steps and then identifying and investigating potential errors of use for each step. Compared with other methods, it is significant in its use of two question levels, greater inclusion of human cognition theory and that the results of the analysis are presented in matrixes. Relevance to industry: The PUEA method is useful to the industry for evaluating existing products or serving as an evaluation tool during the design process. For instance, the PUEA method has been used to evaluate user interface designs of home-care ventilators and dialysis machines. In addition, PUEA can be applied as a final risk assessment method assessment method in the product development process.


Lars-Ola Bligård

Chalmers, Product and Production Development, Design and Human Factors

Anna-Lisa Osvalder

Chalmers, Product and Production Development, Design and Human Factors

International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics

0169-8141 (ISSN)

Vol. 44 1 153-170

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Medical Engineering

Human Computer Interaction

Areas of Advance


Life Science Engineering (2010-2018)



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