Improving patient care and staff well-being

2017-06-12T12:18:04Z (GMT) by Sue Hignett
Ensuring the practice of human factors and ergonomics (HF&E) is factored into a design is the key to success. By focussing on the systems in which people interact with, in physical, organisational and social environments, will give two key outcomes; well-being and performance. Professor Sue Hignett, fellow of the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF), the professional membership body for ergonomists and human factors practitioners, explains: “HF&E looks at redesigning ‘systems’ and ‘objects’ to allow people to succeed, by ensuring certain tasks and systems are designed to suit human capabilities and limitations. This type of practice is common in industrial sectors and safety critical industries, but is slightly more complicated when it comes to the healthcare sector at it’s both people-centred and people-driven. This means even more focus is required, but benefits could be worth investment.” Professor Hignett concludes: “The way forward is to embed Human Factors and ergonomics across healthcare with a champion at executive board level for each trust or healthcare provider. This will transform healthcare safety culture from trying to fit the human to the environment to a safety culture which understands human capabilities and limitations. HF&E within the healthcare sector will support the design of efficient systems that are fit for patients and staff. A greater use of HF&E and design will create many opportunities for healthcare to take ‘giant leaps’ in improving safety.”