Model of Procedure Usage – Results from a Qualitative Study to Inform Design of Computer-Based Procedures

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The nuclear industry is constantly trying to find ways to decrease the human error rate, especially the human errors associated with procedure use. As a step toward the goal of improving procedure use performance, researchers, together with the nuclear industry, have been looking at replacing the current paper-based procedures with computer-based procedure systems. The concept of computer-based procedures is not new by any means; however most research has focused on procedures used in the main control room. Procedures reviewed in these efforts are mainly emergency operating procedures and normal operating procedures. Based on lessons learned for these previous efforts we ... continued below

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Oxstrand, Johanna H & Blanc, Katya L Le July 1, 2012.

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The nuclear industry is constantly trying to find ways to decrease the human error rate, especially the human errors associated with procedure use. As a step toward the goal of improving procedure use performance, researchers, together with the nuclear industry, have been looking at replacing the current paper-based procedures with computer-based procedure systems. The concept of computer-based procedures is not new by any means; however most research has focused on procedures used in the main control room. Procedures reviewed in these efforts are mainly emergency operating procedures and normal operating procedures. Based on lessons learned for these previous efforts we are now exploring a more unknown application for computer based procedures - field procedures, i.e. procedures used by nuclear equipment operators and maintenance technicians. The Idaho National Laboratory, the Institute for Energy Technology, and participants from the U.S. commercial nuclear industry are collaborating in an applied research effort with the objective of developing requirements and specifications for a computer-based procedure system to be used by field operators. The goal is to identify the types of human errors that can be mitigated by using computer-based procedures and how to best design the computer-based procedures to do this. The underlying philosophy in the research effort is “Stop – Start – Continue”, i.e. what features from the use of paper-based procedures should we not incorporate (Stop), what should we keep (Continue), and what new features or work processes should be added (Start). One step in identifying the Stop – Start – Continue was to conduct a baseline study where affordances related to the current usage of paper-based procedures were identified. The purpose of the study was to develop a model of paper based procedure use which will help to identify desirable features for computer based procedure prototypes. Affordances such as note taking, markups, sharing procedures between fellow coworkers, the use of multiple procedures at once, etc. were considered. The model describes which affordances associated with paper based procedures should be transferred to computer-based procedures as well as what features should not be incorporated. The model also provides a means to identify what new features not present in paper based procedures need to be added to the computer-based procedures to further enhance performance. The next step is to use the requirements and specifications to develop concepts and prototypes of computer-based procedures. User tests and other data collection efforts will be conducted to ensure that the real issues with field procedures and their usage are being addressed and solved in the best manner possible. This paper describes the baseline study, the construction of the model of procedure use, and the requirements and specifications for computer-based procedures that were developed based on the model. It also addresses how the model and the insights gained from it were used to develop concepts and prototypes for computer based procedures.

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  • 8th ANNUAL NUCLEAR PLANT INSTRUMENTATION, CONTROL, AND HUMAN-MACHINE INTERFACE TECHNOLOGIES (NPIC & ,San Diego, CA,07/22/2012,07/26/2012

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  • Report No.: INL/CON-11-23631
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-05ID14517
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1057699
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc842519

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  • July 1, 2012

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

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  • June 20, 2016, 3:43 p.m.

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Oxstrand, Johanna H & Blanc, Katya L Le. Model of Procedure Usage – Results from a Qualitative Study to Inform Design of Computer-Based Procedures, article, July 1, 2012; Idaho Falls, Idaho. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc842519/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.