Much of the early research and focus in human factors/ergonomics (HF/E) in healthcare has been in the acute sector. This is partly because the early high profile interest has been from people in acute areas learning lessons from other safety-critical industries who operate in team-based, functionally and critically time-bound areas. In trying to learn from other industries we have tended to ignore the fact that the vast majority of interactions between patients and the healthcare system take place in the primary care setting.
It is our aspiration that the world of HF/E is allowed to influence care delivery in places where the need for resilience, efficiency and delivering safety, despite human vulnerabilities in both care-givers and patients, is perhaps even more important.
In order to begin we needed to understand what is already known or being done around HF/E in primary care. This important piece of work was undertaken by Paul Bowie and his team at NHS Education for Scotland supported and led by the CHFG, and it is with my sincere thanks to all involved that we now have our starting point. If you would like to review the reports please go to the Executive Briefing Summary and the Full Scoping Review Report
It is clear there is much work to do, but the process of learning requires a realistic understanding of where we are now. With the release of this report we can start to look at primary care with more insight and thoughtfulness. From the CHFG’s perspective we believe the next step will be for academics, HF/E folk and healthcare staff, to take this information and collaborate, to identify work that could be practically done in primary care and to start the process of integrating HF/E in day-to-day practice. It is another journey worth taking.
Source: Clinical Human Factors Group