Human factors and the future of its impact on healthcare

Linkedin live with Jonas recap

On a recent Talk with HIROC episode, we spoke to Jonas Shultz, Human Factors Specialist with the Health Quality Council of Alberta, and HIROC’s Stefano Gelmi, Lead, Safety on the Risk Management team, on the intersect of patient safety and human factors. 

HIROC’s own Trevor Hall, Vice President, Healthcare Safety and Risk Management opened the discussion forum up to both Jonas and Stefano by introducing the main topic at hand, and asking a question many of us might not have an understanding on: what is human factors and how does it impact patient safety?


Watch the Talk with HIROC episode!


Jonas explained that human factors is a scientific discipline that takes our knowledge about mental and physical abilities of humans that are used to design things that people interact with, like information, tools, tasks and processes used. 

In terms of how it impacts patient safety, Jonas shared a personal experience as he works with hospital and healthcare spaces to accommodate people who work within those environments. For example, at the Vancouver General Hospital, he collaborated with them to evaluate a universal operating room while scenarios were carried out to minimize the amount of congestion and unintended bumps that would occur within that environment by having them strategically and intuitively laid out. 

Jonas also shared what makes a successful quality improvement project through a five-step process:

  1. Continuous monitoring of data
  2. Identify hazards that exist
  3. Prioritize opportunities for improvement
  4. Generate, identify and test improvement ideas
  5. Implement, spread and try to sustain those change ideas

Trevor also asked his guests whether they had any key secrets or lessons that they wanted people to take away from the talk. 

Stefano shared how finding the balance between people-focused solutions and systems-focused solutions is key. Someone might not get it right the first, second or third time – but there’s always something out there to consider, he shared.  

Jonas responded to the same question by adding that a lot of the answers lie in people, the end users, and finding a way to test things with them. 

To conclude this Talk with HIROC episode, Jonas left the viewers with some parting thoughts. He shared how human factors is a new area for some – so getting comfortable and defining expectations and possible outcomes at the outset may help to bring people along for the journey. 


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Some of the topics we’ve featured so far include:

  • Innovation
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  • Claims and legal perspective
  • Communication and media relations

Truly something for all of our viewers – and we’re excited to bring you more unique topics and engaging guests over the coming weeks.