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Human Factors

Human Factors, or ergonomics, in the Healthcare setting seeks to improve clinical performance by understanding the interaction of the individual with the team, environment, equipment and organisations in which they work.  The National Quality Board released a Concordat in 2012 stating that they believed a ‘wider understanding’ of HF could significantly improve quality of care for patients in the NHS.

Human factors seeks to both widen the awareness of one’s own limitations in areas such as communication and situational awareness, but also to increase the emphasis on organisations of the need to improve the inherent safety of the systems, organisations and processes in which clinical staff work.  This involves a shift in focus away from blaming individuals for clinical incidents (60-70% of which are due to human error), to one of organisational learning and improvement such that further such incidents become much harder or impossible to repeat.  This approach is discussed in detail in the Department of Health document: “An organisation with a memory”


There is a wealth of training taking place in across organisations in Yorkshire and the Humber. At HEE we organise half day training in Enhancing Human Factors for Foundation Year Two doctors, as well as offering a one day course for all members of the NHS team. 



We are currently reviewing our Human Factors training on a regional level and will publish updates here.

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