Errordiary competition – click for more details
Everyone’s welcome to share their tweets on the #Errordiary and #rsdiary hashtags, and through the Errordiary website. We’re particularly keen to get people with diabetes and healthcare professionals involved too, as they are people who are handling care-giving medical equipment every day. This is an opportunity for them to share their mistake-avoiding strategies more widely, and for us to learn about them.
Also newly launched is, EndeavErr, a virtual space shuttle trying to get into ‘orbit’ – the craft is ‘powered’ by the number of people who participate in the competition and the Errordiary project overall. Please help us get airborne, and perhaps even up to low earth orbit (that’s where the International Space Station is).
See also ‘Mistakes win prizes in new competition‘ from UCL news.
Errordiary (a spinoff research and public engagement project from CHI+MED) is on a mission to get everyone thinking about the everyday-ness of error. Most people intuitively understand this, perhaps with only a little prompting – if you’ve ever forgotten your house keys or had to press the delete key on a computer keyboard then you’ve made an error, but hopefully survived.
Assuming you’re generally fairly competent in all other areas I think you’d agree that going on a ‘house key retention training‘ programme probably wouldn’t help you remember your keys. However, sending people on retraining courses can happen in a medical setting when a mistake happens. The response has often been to ‘blame and retrain’ staff (blame whoever’s nearest to the mistake and retrain them) or sack them.
But sometimes this just masks the existence of an underlying problem that, if fixed, could prevent more people from making that error.
Fortunately things are changing. There is a greater understanding of the role that the system (that people work in) can play in preventing an error.
For example it’s better to add a delete key to a computer than to try and retrain all keyboard users so that they never make a mistake, which would obviously be impossible!
Sometimes people come up with clever ideas on their own which make them a bit more resilient to making those errors. Many reading this will probably have some variant of their own ‘leaving the house in the morning’ ritual of that checking essential items are in the right location. These are types of ‘resilience strategies’.
People are obviously reluctant to talk about more serious work-related errors though they are very comfortable talking about the everyday errors – and some of them are quite funny. However the thinking (cognitive processes) behind the types of errors that people make, and the types of resilience strategies they develop, is the same, whether at home or work.
So we’re asking everyone to share their everyday errors and their resilience strategies as well.
If you want to find out more about the weird and wonderful world of human error please explore the Discovery Zone. There are resources for teachers, examples of error in the news as well as our research in error and resilience strategies.