Thursday, June 30, 2011

People Are People: Human Factors Engineering Works at the Intersection of Humanity and Technology

AAMC Reporter

Some teaching hospitals and health systems are taking a fresh look at human factors engineering (HFE), a discipline not often associated with medicine, but one that proponents say can improve the quality and safety of health care.

In a nutshell, human factors engineers attempt to learn about human strengths and limitations, and then apply that knowledge to products and processes to reduce errors and improve quality and productivity.

Enterprises that rely heavily on people interacting with technology, such as aviation and consumer electronics, are prominent HFE users. Health care, however, has lagged behind other industries in adopting HFE programs.


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