Re: FDA and Offshore standards



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Nancy Leveson (leveson(at)cs.washington.edu)
Fri, 04 Oct 1996 07:35:22 PDT


With all do respect, I think you are missing the point of the patient. = I think she is scared about the fact that the lab tech does not know = what to do. What has this to do with a computer? The patient could have come across the nurse looking it up in a book. What I see as being scary is that the UI (User-Interface) isn't very = usable. How do you know? Maybe it's excellent. What's scary is the fact that the lab tech can't figure out how to = administer the test. Again, nothing to do with a computer. In fact, the lab tech may have been doing something very different on the computer. I don't see how a patient would even know unless the patient come in and looked over her shoulder to read the screen (unlikely) or the nurse told her she didn't know how to do it. That is the problem, not the fact that a nurse (or doctor or computer scientist) has to look something up once in a while. I'd rather they looked it up than guessed. I don't think that this has anything to do with it not being in a book, = as much as it has to do with being able to extract information from the = computer that the lab tech can understand. It seems like it may be the = ability to navigate through todays user-interface on a computer is = lacking the ability to navigate fluently and accurately. Not necessarily. Are we going to complain that microfiche readers are dangerous because one needs to navigate through them in an awkward manner? In fact, it may take a lot less time and be a lot easier to look it up on a computer than in a book (especially a book with a poor index). My point really is that if we cry wolf over every use of a computer and make everything into a big risk, then we start to sound like Luddites and will not be believed about the true risks. There is very little new risk here involving computers that we should be getting excited about. Nancy


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