The Q community welcomed colleagues from Patient Safety and Human Factors & Ergonomics in a workshop presented by the Clinical Human Factors Group in collaboration with the Health Foundation.

Nikki Davey (Q member, Charity Trustee and QI Coach, Quality Improvement Clinic) presented a timeline for the emergence of four sciences prevalent in patient safety. Mapping each member’s journey though the sciences showed an inverse timeline with a third coming to human factors later in their careers despite it being the longest established discipline!

Patrick Waterson (Charity Trustee, Lecturer, Loughborough Design School and tutor to many in the room!) provided an overview of the science of human factors and ergonomics with some insights into the tools of the trade.

A second mapping exercise showed that many in the group were regular users of some QI and Human Factors tools, but the majority were stronger in their understanding and use of a much wider range of QI tools than human factors tools and techniques. For Human Factors the two most popular tools were observations and interviews.

The majority interest focused on the use of Human Factors and Quality Improvement to support the common goal of improving
patient safety. Familiarity with the wider systems mapping techniques used by both disciplines to understand the context and wider impact of change was however much lower.

These systems focused techniques were demonstrated by Nikki Davey who illustrated a systems approach to designing interventions to reduce emergency admissions by preventing falls. Our guest speaker Jane O’Hara (Bradford Institute for Health Research) presented the Partners in Care Transitions (PACT) which aimed to improve the safety and experience of care for older patients as they move from hospital to home.