The cost of error in the healthcare sector can be very high for patients and their families, as well as medical practitioners and managers who are involved. Hospital staff members work in diverse teams, with intricate problems and often use complex technology in time-pressured and safety-critical conditions – it is obvious that the human factors approach can provide benefits in this domain.
User Perspective has worked with a number of NHS partners on projects such as the tracking of patients across departments, the investigation of serious incidents, safe transportation of neo-nates and the design of new equipment. The aim is always to minimize the opportunity for human error at every stage, using our thorough understanding of human limitations.
Our support has helped NHS teams to improve their processes and decisions and to view problems using a ‘human centred’ approach. We are currently working with a local group to improve their methods of incident investigation, which will be vital in their aim of preventing the recurrence of critical events. The training package that we are developing for this purpose has the potential to be shared with other hospital trusts.