Error in Skilled Performance

A Control Model of Prescribing

Published in: Ergonomics, v. 46, no. 12, Oct. 10, 2003, p. 1200-1214

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2003

by Richard S. Marken

A control model of skilled performance is proposed as a framework for understanding why prescribing errors occur at a particular rate. Model error rate depends on skill level, system design characteristics, the range of different types of prescriptions that are produced and the time available to complete each prescription. The parameters of the model can be adjusted so it produces error rates that are quantitatively equal to those found in studies of the incidence of different types of prescribing error. The model will also produce error rates that are qualitatively consistent with the results of studies that show increases in prescribing error rates as a result of increases in distractions and workload. The model is used to determine the likely effectiveness of different prescribing error prevention interventions.

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