Human Factors

What is Human Factors?

Human Factors encompasses all of the factors that can influence the behaviour and performance of human beings in a system. It allows us to understand how people perform under different circumstances and why errors or harms in healthcare can happen.

Why understand Human Factors?

Understanding Human Factors helps us build better defences into our systems in order to prevent or reduce the likelihood of serious error resulting in harm to a patient by:

  • Allowing us to understand why we make errors

  • Improve our safety culture within teams and the organisation

  • Enhancing teamwork and communication

  • identify 'what went wrong'

  • help us to predict 'what could go wrong' in the future 

  • improve the design of the system or processes we work in

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Factors that lead to errors- the dirty dozen

This section will help you identify what are the 'dirty dozen' and how you can change ways of working with these

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