Human Factors

What is Human Factors in healthcare?

Human Factors (HF) is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system (International Ergonomics Association).

Human Factors is basically the science of people at work. The World Health Organization describe it as the study of all the factors that make it easier to do the work in the right way. Understanding and applying a HFs approach in the health setting can enhance way healthcare is delivered and received.

How can understanding Human Factors help at work?

Using Human Factors principles can enhance patient safety and clinical quality as well as support health care personnel and optimise wellbeing while at work. A failure to apply Human Factors principles is frequently an aspect of adverse events in health care.

While most care is delivered safely, we are all human and all capable of making mistakes. Our training and experience do not make us infallible. While we cannot eliminate human fallibility, we can act to optimise best practice and to moderate and limit the risks.

An understanding of Human Factors can help health professionals to:

  • Enhance safety
  • Reduce error
  • Enhance personal wellbeing
  • Perform efficiently.

What can we offer?

We have a range of Human Factor resources that can help healthcare workers increase their knowledge and improve patient safety.

How can Human Factors assist during COVID-19?

An awareness of Human Factors can also help you to perform at your best during times of significant change where the potential for error may be heightened, such as COVID-19.


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