Field Research in the Operating Room

Julie M. Mhlaba, Laura W. Christianson, Stuart J. Davidson, S. Nicholas Graves, Brady R. Still, Megan R. Silas, Abigail J. Fong, Ashley M. Nassiri, Joseph J. Pariser, Alexander J. Langerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The study of the operating room (OR) began over a century ago and has continued to advance. However, for nonmedical researchers, unique challenges present themselves that must be carefully addressed. We present an overview of the OR aimed at nonmedical researchers interested in studying the OR environment. Based on our extensive experience, we identify several key challenges and describe ways to circumvent them. With a respectable understanding of the OR environment, we can prepare a researcher to gather useful data. Such investigations have the potential to yield great insights about cost savings, efficiency, methods, processes, and general human interaction, among others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-19
Number of pages10
JournalErgonomics in Design
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright 2016 by Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. All rights reserved.


  • field methods
  • health products
  • health systems
  • medical products
  • organizational behavior
  • patient handling
  • teams


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