4. Human factors in emergency care

  1. Jesse M. Pines MD, MBA, MSCE5,
  2. Jameel Abualenain MD, MPH6,
  3. James Scott MD7 and
  4. Robert Shesser MD, MPH8
  1. Raj M. Ratwani1,
  2. A. Zach Hettinger2 and
  3. Rollin J. Fairbanks1,3,4

Published Online: 30 MAY 2014

DOI: 10.1002/9781118779750.ch4

Emergency Care and the Public's Health

Emergency Care and the Public's Health

How to Cite

Ratwani, R. M., Zach Hettinger, A. and Fairbanks, R. J. (2014) Human factors in emergency care, in Emergency Care and the Public's Health (eds J. M. Pines, J. Abualenain, J. Scott and R. Shesser), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118779750.ch4

Editor Information

  1. 5

    Director, Office for Clinical Practice Innovation, Professor of Emergency Medicine and Health Policy, The GeorgeWashington University, Washington, DC, USA

  2. 6

    Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, The GeorgeWashington University, Washington, DC, USA; King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

  3. 7

    Professor of Emergency Medicine and Health Policy, The GeorgeWashington University School of Medicine and Health Science, Washington, DC, USA

  4. 8

    Professor and Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine, The GeorgeWashington University, Washington, DC, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    MedStar Institute for Innovation, National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare, USA

  2. 2

    Department of Emergency Medicine, Georgetown University School of Medicine, National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare, USA

  3. 3

    National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare, MedStar Institute for Innovation, Department of Emergency Medicine, USA

  4. 4

    Industrial Systems Engineering, University at Buffalo, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 MAY 2014
  2. Published Print: 13 MAY 2014

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118779804

Online ISBN: 9781118779750

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Keywords:

  • emergency care;
  • emergency medicine;
  • human factors engineering (HFE);
  • medical simulation;
  • observational analysis;
  • task analysis

Summary

This chapter reviews common methods used in human factors engineering (HFE) and the application of HFE to health care with a focus on emergency medicine. A variety of qualitative and quantitative methods are used to gain an understanding of emergency medicine provider's interactions within the environment. Three common human factors methods are observational analysis, task analysis, and simulation. Specific topics covered in the chapter include workflow, overcrowding, teamwork, health information technology, task interruptions, and clinical decision-making. The chapter highlights several important issues that considered by health care workers, leaders, and researchers to advance patient safety using the application of human factors principles in the ED. Through a combination of observational and task analysis, along with testing and training via medical simulation, human factors engineering is a strong tool to improve emergency medicine, in much the same way as it has in other high stakes industries.