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Achieving safety in human-machine interaction in health care systems (»Add to Infobox)

Research Leader: Professor Tore Larsson
Olle Granat

Design, Work Environment, Safety and Health

Errors in medical care and the inevitability of human error are now widely discussed and recognised. Several factors contribute to these adverse events and it is necessary to shift the focus from individual to system and from punishment to prevention.

Both simple and advanced technologies are included in modern healthcare systems and they are therefore also important factors in making healthcare safer. The safety aspects of medical technology have mainly been focused on product reliability, but in most adverse incidents involving technology it is not the machine that fails, the cause is human error. If technology and systems are designed with safety and usability in mind, this will not only reduce human errors but also be able to function as a safety barrier when a mistake occurs. Technology and humans are parts of the same system and a multidisciplinary approach is therefore necessary.

This project aims to develop a method for incorporating human factors engineering and knowledge into the development and design of systems in healthcare. Human factors engineering has proven effective in reducing errors and workload in the use of medical devices, but the number of adverse events involving technology shows that usability and good human-machine interfaces cannot be taken for granted in procurement of medical devices. A system development method for increasing patient safety needs to be able to use the knowledge of existing problems and the knowledge of safety barriers and key safety features of existing systems and use this to set usability requirements and interface standards of new systems and technologies.

Period: 2003-07-01 - 2007-07-01

Risk, Safety-critical systems, Safety, Human-machine systems


VR (The Swedish Research Council)


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