Applying Ergonomics/Human Factors to Study and Improve "Patient Work” | Event | AIHI - Australian Institute of Health Innovation

Applying Ergonomics/Human Factors to Study and Improve "Patient Work” | Event | AIHI - Australian Institute of Health Innovation

Event Date
Tuesday, 4 August 2015


Ergonomics/human factors is a scientific and practice-based discipline devoted to studying and improving human performance in sociotechnical systems. Over the past few decades, human factors approaches have been successfully adapted to numerous healthcare delivery settings worldwide, with particular success in arenas such as patient safety, health information technology, and team performance. A new challenge for human factors in healthcare is to adapt its theories, methods, tools, and applications to study and improve “patient work,” i.e., health-related activities in which the patient or family plays an active role. I will present findings from several studies in which we applied established human factors techniques to investigate the health-related work performance of patients and their informal caregivers. In these studies, we investigated the work system structures and processes of self-care by older adults with heart failure, safety failures reported by patients and family members following acute episodes of care, and the coordination needs of mental health patients and their informal caregivers. I will discuss some informatics design projects stemming from study findings as well as opportunities and challenges for applying ergonomics/human factors to “patient work.”


Richard J. Holden is assistant professor of BioHealth Informatics at the Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing, USA, and fouding Director of eHealth for the Center for Brain Care Innovation at Eskenazi Health. He received a joint PhD in industrial engineering and psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2009. For over 14 years, he has used human factors engineering and psychology in applied research on the work of clinicians—and most recently that of patients and informal caregivers. He has investigated multiple healthcare interventions, including information technology, team-based care, and lean process redesign. Particular research interests include consumer health informatics, user-centred design, technology acceptance, resilience engineering, behaviour change, and field research methods. He has participated in 12 federal grants and authored over 80 scholarly works.

     Date:                     Tuesday 4 August 2015

Time:                    12-1pm

Venue:                  Level 1, Seminar Room, 75 Talavera Road

Chairperson:         Enrico Coiera

To register for this seminar please click here.

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