Human Factors for Health and Social Care white paper launched

Posted on 19 March 2019 (Permalink)

The West Midlands Patient Safety Collaborative joined University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) Human Factors faculty and the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF) earlier this month to launch the CIEHF white paper, "Human Factors for Health and Social Care.”

Held on 4 March, the event showcased the white paper and followed with regional examples illustrating how Human Factors has been applied to healthcare, improving system performance and patient safety in maternity services, paediatrics, emergency departments and incident investigation.

The paper itself was presented by UHB’s very own Ergonomics and Human Factors Adviser, Frances Ives - one of very few Ergonomists working in an acute trust. Jane Higgs, Ergonomics and Human Factors Adviser at the West Midlands Patient Safety Collaborative then presented a case study from the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch – showing how human factors techniques can be integral to patient safety incident investigations. Their combined expertise speaking at this event reflected the depth of Human Factors understanding now developing in the region.

The event also enabled speakers and attendees to encourage the drive to integrate Human Factors into healthcare systems and to highlight the work being carried out regionally, making the Midlands a true leader in the adoption of Human Factors.

Reflecting on the event, Jane said: “The wide range of speakers demonstrated some of the myriad ways in which Human Factors techniques can be used to improve healthcare environments and practices for both patients and staff. The reaction on social media after the event was great and people have since contacted me wanting to engage further with the topic in their own Trusts. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to help spread knowledge and enthusiasm for using human factors techniques in healthcare."

Fran was similarly positive: “It is fantastic to see how the level of understanding and interest in Human Factors is growing within healthcare. The event captured this interest and some of the fantastic HF work that is happening within the West Midlands region.”

Dr Peter Isherwood, Critical Care and Anaesthesia Consultant at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, added: “It was brilliant to have the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors, UHB Human Factors faculty and the West Midlands Patient Safety Collaborative share a platform to promote the white paper. Many thanks to all our speakers, the CIEHF, UHB and the Collaborative for supporting the event and most of all to all the delegates that attended.”

Copies of the white paper can be downloaded for free from the CIEHF website: Human Factors white paper and you can follow UHB’s Human Factors faculty on @UHBHumanFactors, and the CIEHF on @CIEHF.