HIWM’s Fran Ives has been featured in NHE Magazine, exploring how Human Factors in healthcare can optimise performance and improve patient safety.
Human Factors, also known as ergonomics, is an established scientific discipline that focuses on people, with the aim of ensuring that the design of equipment, the environment, systems, and interaction between people improves their wellbeing as well as operations system performance.
As a practice rather than a discipline, Human Factors has been a long-standing approach that healthcare practitioners have knowingly, or unknowingly, performed.
For instance, a GP may rearrange his treatment room layout to give patients more privacy during examinations, or trial a new triage process that reassigns the degree or treatment of urgency, freeing up more time to treat more patients.
Today, Human Factors is a recognised discipline and a growing profession, with chartered status awarded by the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors.
The NHS is harnessing Human Factors’ approaches in delivering patient safety, quality of healthcare improvements, design of medical equipment and workspaces. There is still more progress to make, but Human Factors continues to be an important approach to how we effectively and efficiently deliver health and social care.
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