who_mc_topic-2 (1) - Topic 2 What is human factors and why...

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100 Topic 2: What is human factors and why is it important to patient safety? Why human factors is important Human factors examines the relationship between human beings and the systems with which they interact [1] by focusing on improving efficiency, creativity, productivity and job satisfaction, with the goal of minimizing errors. A failure to apply human factors principles is a key aspect of most adverse events in health care. Therefore, all health-care workers need to have a basic understanding of human factors principles. Health-care workers who do not understand the basics of human factors are like infection control professionals not knowing about microbiology. Keywords Human factors, ergonomics, systems, human performance. Learning objective Understand human factors and its relationship to patient safety. Learning outcomes: knowledge and performance What a student needs to know (knowledge requirements): explain the meaning of the term “human factors”; explain the relationship between human factors and patient safety. What a student needs to do (performance requirement): apply human factors thinking to your work environment. WHAT STUDENTS NEED TO KNOW (KNOWLEDGE REQUIREMENTS) The meaning of the terms “human factors” and “ergonomics” The terms human factors and ergonomics (as it is sometimes called) are used to describe interactions between three interrelated aspects: individuals at work, the task at hand and the workplace itself. Human factors is an established science that uses many disciplines (such as anatomy, physiology, physics and biomechanics) to understand how people perform under different circumstances. We define human factors as: the study of all the factors that make it easier to do the work in the right way. Another definition of human factors is the study of the interrelationship between humans, the tools and equipment they use in the workplace, and the environment in which they work [1]. One can apply Human factors knowledge to wherever humans work. In health care, human factors knowledge can help design processes that make it easier for doctors and nurses to do the job right. Human factors applications are highly relevant to patient safety because embedded in the discipline of human factors engineering are the basic sciences of safety. Human factors can show us how to make sure we use safe prescribing practices, communicate well in teams and hand over information to other health-care professionals. These tasks, once thought to be basic, have become quite complicated as a result of the increasing complexity of health-care services and systems. Much of health care is dependent on the humans—the doctors and nurses—providing the care. Human factors experts believe that mistakes can be reduced by focusing on the health-care providers and studying how they interact with and are part of the environment. Human factors can make it easier for health-care providers to care for patients.
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  • Summer '15
  • Health care provider

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