In many respects the NHS can be proud of what it’s done around human factors. No other national health care system has yet tried to do what we’re doing, so it’s no surprise that it’s hard. It’s been made even harder for those ‘in charge’ by the seismic shifts in how the NHS is organised. A shifting landscape, followed by the enormity of scandals such as Mid Staffs, has left people like rabbits in headlights, in an extended process of what human factors refers to as ‘sense making’. Things are happening that don’t fit the standard mental models anymore.
For many, just getting their head around human factors has been a struggle. If you’re not at the front line of it, I’ll fully acknowledge that human factors can at first be hard to grasp. It’s a scientific coming together of a number of disciplines (such as psychology, physiology, etc) that together aim to develop a focused approach to ‘making it easy to do the right things’. It is a science in its own right, with an extensive evidence base.
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