Key Human Factors messages when working under pressure

Over the last few days we’ve been listening to frontline staff in the UK and abroad to assess how we might support people through the current emergency.  We have already connected clinicians with human factors experts to assist in the design of a COVID Checklist; reached out to industry and Government around the design of ventilators; and connected a technology company with the Government in the hope their product can assist with public health issues.  

For many, these times require a change in mindset.  Putting yourself before your patient to ensure safety for yourself, your colleagues and ultimately all your patients is difficult but essential. For example, a COVID patient requiring CPR may require you to take a step back, making sure you have your PPE completely in place and checked as appropriate before you act.  It will feel strange to leave your patient waiting while you don PPE but there is a wider consideration – everyone’s safety.

Many of our team have experience in high-pressure, high-stakes situations, the science of human factors and non-technical skills.  The key human factors messages we want to share can be found below. (NB volunteers have translated this document into a number of different languages for wider reach)