Healthcare organizations need to place strong emphasis on providing high-quality health care services to the patients through implementing proper safety interventions and strategies. The development and implementation of effective patient safety interventions and strategies depends on the skills and competencies of health care professionals. The workplace performance of health care professionals is directly influenced by human factors such as motivation, working environment and goal clarity. Thus, there exist a significant relationship between human factors and performance of health care professionals (Carayone et al., 2013). In this context, the present essay aims to demonstrate the impact of human factors on quality and safety in health care organizations. The essay, in this regard, provides a detailed analysis of the concept of human factors and its significance in impacting work performance. The types of human factors affecting work performance in health care organizations are also examined and evaluated in the present essay.
Human factors mainly refer to the three aspects that are, environmental, organizational and job factors influencing the behavior of an individual at workplace that can have a direct effect on the health and safety of people (Bard, 2013). Human factors assess the impact of human and individual characteristics on work performance of individuals. Human factors mainly emphasizes on the type of task and its characteristics, skills and competencies of an individual and organizational attributes. The proper management of human resources is essential for an organization to enhance the productivity and profitability. The organizations aim to gain high productivity through developing proper health and safety procedures for all its stakeholders. This can be achieved by an organization through the implementation of appropriate work systems. The efficiency of work systems in an organization can be enhanced through the development of a competent workforce and well-designed job roles in accordance with the skills and capabilities of employees (Bard, 2013).
Human factors such as biological, psychological and organizational factors have a direct impact on the work performances of an individual. These factors influence the efficiency and productivity of individuals through determining their capabilities and limitations at workplace. For example, if a task requires huge physical strength then it should be allocated to someone who possesses the physical stamina of doing it (Human Factors, 2016). Otherwise, an individual can suffer injury or cause damage to the tools and machineries involved in carrying out the task. Similarly, in the case of a task requiring mental capabilities, it should be assigned to an individual possessing mental power otherwise it can cause quality and safety issues for an organization through its inadequate completion. In addition to this, individuals reluctant to carry out their task might be the result of lack of proper motivation by the management of an organization. Thus, it can be said that human factors are essential for the development of appropriate health and safety management system in an organization impacting the work performance (Bard, 2013).
Human factors mainly determine the relationship between humans and the systems through which they interact at their workplaces (Human Factors, 2016). These factors are critical in an organization to be considered for designing best work role and responsibilities for an individual in accordance with his/her capabilities. The three specific human factors that impact the work performance of an individual are described as follows:
- Job factors: It includes the fields such as nature of job role, working conditions and the type of business practices and procedures adopted. The type of job role assigned to an individual must be in accordance with human abilities and limitations. This requires carrying out a proper matching of job roles and responsibilities to an individual physical as well as mental strength and constraints (Human Factors, 2016).
- Individual factors: Individual factors relate to the competency, skills, attitude and talent of an individual that influences the work role carried out by him/her. The skills and capabilities of an individual must be in accordance with the job role assigned (Human Factors, 2016).
- Organizational Factors: It includes type of business practices and procedures, culture, resources, communication flow and leadership followed by an organization. Strong emphasizes should be placed on these factors at the time of designing a job role for an individual (Human Factors, 2016).
Carayon et al (2013) stated that the approach of human factors system is highly essential to be implemented in the health care organizations for improving quality and patient safety. The concept of human factors facilitates health care professionals to emphasize on the development of effective systems and work producers for providing safety to the patients. It is necessary for health care professionals to gain an in-depth understanding of the application of human factors in the daily operational activities. The development of a well-structured human factors system is essential in health care organizations for ensuring safety of both staffs and patients (Human Factors Analysis in Patient Safety Systems, 2015). Human factors, mainly, environmental, organizational and individual factors help health care professionals to design best work systems that facilitates them to carry out best job. The discipline of human factors incorporates the basic science of safety that helps in developing safety practices and procedures in health care organizations (Carayon et al., 2013).
In the views of Fryer (n.d.) the work-task and individual related human factors hold a significant role in impacting the work performance and quality and safety in health care. The occupational roles and responsibilities of health care professionals include providing high-quality care services to the patients. The health-care professionals should possess the necessary skills and competencies so that they are able to understand the needs and requirements of the patients in an appropriate way (Fryer, n.d.). The main capabilities required for health care professionals includes interpersonal skills, reasoning skills, technological skills, patience, decision-making skills and having a good knowledge about the type of medication to be provided to the patients. It is the responsibility of management in health care organizations to allocate the duties and responsibilities to health care professionals as per their skills and competencies.
As per the views of Spath (2011) stated that the necessary skills and competencies can be acquired by health care professionals through the help of training provided by the senior management. They can possess good knowledge regarding the work procedures and practices so that they can appropriately identify the health hazards in care services. In addition to this, they can design and implement safety design principles in work-processes for enhancing the quality of care services. The main job roles in health care organizations include of physicians, nurses and staff members for providing primary care services to the patients (Spath, 2011). The designing of the workplace in health care environment must be in accordance with work-task and individual human factors. Physicians should possess good medical knowledge in order to provide appropriate treatment to the patients. Nurses and other staff members involved in care co-ordination need to have good interpersonal and communication skills for meeting the varying needs of patients. The presence of required skills will facilitate health care professionals to carry out their work-task in an appropriate way thus enhancing their work performance.
As per the views of Cacciabue & Vella (2010) the organizational factors also play a vital role in impacting the quality and safety in healthcare organizations. Organizational factors include working environment that must be deigned in accordance with the patients need for safety. The physical layout of the heath care organizations must be designed in a way to safeguard the patients from any type of health hazard. The organizations should implement the use of advanced technologies such as electronic health hazard and health information exchange systems for providing high-quality care services to the patients. The equipment and machineries used in health care organizations should be properly designed for ensuring patient’s protection. Thus, the presence of all these organizational factors is essential in health care organizations for enhancing its performance by safeguarding patient safety and providing them high-quality acre services (Cacciabue & Vella, 2010).
Thus, it can be inferred from the discussion held in the essay that human factors plays a vital role in the designing of workplace environment in health care organizations to ensure the best fit between people and the work practices. The successful implementation and adoption of human factors is essential in health care organizations to enhance the work performance. The human factors such as job, individual and organizational are highly significant in health care for improving the work performance. The management of health care organization should focus on these factors in inter-relation with each other at the time of designing job roles. These human factors have a direct impact on the work performances of individual at health care workplace. Therefore, it can be said that the analysis of human factors is highly significant for developing a workplace in health care providing high quality care services and also ensuring patient safety.
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Fryer, L. A. (n.d.). Human factors in nursing: The time is now. Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, 30(2), 56-65.
Spath, P.L. (2011). Error Reduction in Health Care: A Systems Approach to Improving Patient Safety. John Wiley & Sons.
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