What is Human Factors in Healthcare?

Human factors is applied to healthcare to design processes, devices, and systems that support the work of care givers in medicine.

"To better is human"®

Specific benefits of human factors and system safety engineering applied to healthcare include:

  • Efficient care processes in medical care
  • Effective communication between medical care providers
  • Better understanding of a patient’s current medical condition
  • Implementation of effective and sustainable root cause analysis solutions
  • Reduced risk of medical device use error
  • Easier to use (or more intuitive) devices
  • Reduced risk of health IT-related use error
  • Easier to use (or more intuitive) health IT
  • Reduced need for training
  • Easier repair and maintenance
  • Cost savings through prevention and mitigation of adverse events
  • Safer working conditions in medicine
  • Improved patient outcomes

Human factors evaluations and interventions should take place early in the design and system development process. They should include tools such as work domain analysis, function allocation, probabilistic risk assessment, and usability testing, among others.

Learn more about Human Factors and Systems Safety Engineering in Healthcare from our Founding Director Terry Fairbanks.