Improving care by understanding the way we work: human factors and behavioural science in the context of intensive care

Crit Care. 2009;13(2):139. doi: 10.1186/cc7787. Epub 2009 Apr 29.


Effectiveness and efficiency of care of the critically ill patient are subject to a number of systemic influences, including skills of individual physicians/nurses (technical and non-technical), team-working in the intensive care unit (ICU), and the ICU environment. We first discuss the paper of Fackler and colleagues as a contribution to the systems approach to clinical performance in the context of intensive care. We then highlight features of care delivery that are unique to intensive care and discuss the need for better understanding of human and non-human elements of the system of care of the critically ill patient as a driver for improvement of care delivery.

Publication types

  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Behavioral Sciences*
  • Clinical Competence
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Critical Care / organization & administration*
  • Critical Care / standards
  • Ergonomics*
  • Humans
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / organization & administration*