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.
Thesis title: Safety-II in Healthcare
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.