Can the NHS learn about human factors from the Ministry of Defence?
conference contributionposted on 16.08.2018, 13:29 by G. Miles, Sue Hignett
The National Health Service (NHS) in England has ambitious plans to drive innovation in health information technology (HIT) to improve patient safety, quality and cost effectiveness. Acute trusts are complex socio-technical systems that are required to implement a number of large information technology projects in order to meet national targets for digital maturity. This research explored whether the Ministry of Defence (MOD) Human Factors Integration Model for the acquisition process could be applied to a HIT project. A qualitative research study was undertaken in a large English NHS acute trust using the experience of implementing an electronic observation system to explore transferability of the MOD approach to acute healthcare. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews and focus groups and analysed thematically with reference to SEIPS 2.0 (Holden et al, 2013) healthcare systems model and the MOD framework. Key findings included limited awareness of Human Factors in healthcare; information system design/specification to deliver positive outcomes around patient safety and financial savings. Human Factors negative systems issues included alert fatigue, changing mental models, inability to maximise data for patient benefit, system resilience, local and national interoperability issues.