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A prospective study on the user-friendliness of four anaesthesia workstations

Pouzeratte, Y.*; Sebbane, M.*; Jung, B.*; Delay, J. M.*; Eliet, J.; Eledjam, J. J.*; Capdevila, X.; Jaber, S.*

European Journal of Anaesthesiology (EJA): August 2008 - Volume 25 - Issue 8 - p 634–641
doi: 10.1017/S0265021508004043
Original Article

Background and objectives Unlike for intensive care unit and home mechanical ventilators, no study has evaluated the user-friendliness of the recently introduced new anaesthesia workstations.

Methods We performed a prospective study to evaluate the user-friendliness of four anaesthesia workstations, which were categorized into two groups: first-generation (Kion) and second-generation (Avance, Felix and Primus). Twenty users (12 nurse-anaesthetists and 8 anaesthesiologists) from three different anaesthesia departments at the same univeristy hospital participated in the study. The user-friendliness scale evaluated 10 criteria, including two design and monitoring criteria, four maintenance criteria and four ventilation use criteria. Each criterion was evaluated from 0 (poor) to 10 (excellent).

Results The mean score obtained for the first-generation workstation was lower than those obtained for the three second-generation workstations (P < 0.05). No significant differences in the overall user-friendliness score was observed for the three second-generation workstations. The first-generation workstation obtained a significantly lower score than the three second-generation workstations for the design criteria (P < 0.01). For the screen criteria, the highest score was obtained by Felix, which has the largest screen and associated characters. For the main maintenance criteria, Kion and Felix obtained the lowest scores. No significant differences between the four anaesthesia workstations were found for only three of the user-friendliness criteria (self-test, alarms and settings).

Conclusions Anaesthesia machines have benefited from considerable advances in design and technology. This novel user-friendliness scale revealed that the most recent workstations were more appreciated by users than the first-generation of anaesthesia workstations. This user-friendliness scale may help the anaesthetic staff to ‘consensually' choose the future workstation for their anaesthesia department.

*Hôpital Saint-Eloi, Department of Anesthesia, CHU Montpellier, Montpellier, France

Hôpital Arnaud de Villeneuve, Department of Anesthesia, CHU Montpellier, Montpellier, France

Hôpital Lapeyronie, Department of Anesthesia, CHU Montpellier, Montpellier, France

Correspondence to: Samir Jaber, Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care (DAR B), CHU de Montpellier, Hôpital Saint Eloi, 80 avenue Augustin Fliche, 34295 Montpellier Cedex 5, France. E-mail:; Tel: +33 467 33 72 71; Fax: +33 467 33 74 48

Accepted for publication 2 March 2008

First published online 9 May 2008

© 2008 European Society of Anaesthesiology