I worked as a researcher in the Ergonomics Unit for the Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance in Sankt Augustin, Germany from May 2012 to April 2014. My main role was working on the ErgoKita Project that investigated the musculoskeletal strain of preschool teachers.
Due to the complexity of the healthcare system and dual nature of safety in healthcare, both the staff’s and the patients’, this field will benefit from adopting not only the traditional definition of safety, whereby the number of adverse events are as low as possible but also the more recently developed definition of Safety-II, which focuses on the ability to succeed under varying conditions. To ensure success, the performance of staff need to be adjusted to account for changes in the system that may affect task outcome. To achieve this, staff need to anticipate, identify and respond to signals indicating these changes in the system. These signals are sensed information regarding upcoming events, and include indicators or cues from the environment. Despite accident reports increasingly stating signals which indicate missed opportunities were present prior to adverse events, research exploring signals and the role they may play in safety, especially in healthcare, is limited. The aim of this research is to explore Safety-II, and more specifically signals in the healthcare environment through several case studies.
Dr Patrick Waterson
Dr Mike Fray
Safety-II in Healthcare
Human Factors, Complex Systems, Healthcare, Safety, Weak signals.
Burford, E.-M., Fray, M., and Waterson, P. (2016). Unpacking Safety-II in action: Weak Signals of Potential Error in Patient Handling Tasks. In P. Waterson, R. Sims, & E.-M. Hubbard (Eds.). Contemporary Ergonomics and Human Factors 2016, Proceedings to the Conference on Ergonomics & Human Factors 2016. Daventry, UK, 19 – 21 April 2016. CIEHF, UK (pp. 140–145).
Burford, E-M., Fray, M., and Waterson, P. (2016). Stopping incidents in their tracks: Identifying weak signals for error prevention in healthcare. In the Proceedings of the Conference Healthcare systems Ergonomics and Patient Safety: Healthcare and Society: new challenges, new opportunities, HEPS 2016. Toulouse, France, 5 - 7 October 2016. (pp.61 – 167).
Burford, E.-M., Brown, B., Fray, M., and Waterson, P. (2017). Factors Contributing to Task Success: Safety II in the Context of Community-Based Patient Discharge. In R. Charles, & J. Wilkinson (Eds.). Contemporary Ergonomics and Human Factors 2017, Proceedings to the Conference on Ergonomics & Human Factors 2017. Daventry, UK, 25 – 27 April 2017. CIEHF, UK (pp. 73–80).
Carman, E., Fray, M., and Waterson, P. (2017). Weak Signals in Healthcare: A Case Study on Community-Based Patient Discharge. Doctorial Consortium of the 13th International conference on Naturalistic Decision Making, Bath, UK, 19 June 2017 (pp. 314 – 321).
Carman, E., Fray, M., and Waterson, P. (2017). Sepsis: A Work Systems Analysis of 30 Survivor and Tribute Stories. 12th International Symposium on Human Factors in Organizational Design and Management, Banff, Canada, 30 July – 4 August 2017 (pp. 102 – 108).
Carman, E., Fray, M., and Waterson, P. (2017). Development of a Framework for the Analysis of Weak Signals within a Healthcare Environment. 12th International Symposium on Human Factors in Organizational Design and Management, Banff, Canada, 30 July – 4 August 2017 (pp. 265 – 271).