Human factors systems approach to healthcare quality and patient safety

Appl Ergon. 2014 Jan;45(1):14-25. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2013.04.023. Epub 2013 Jul 8.


Human factors systems approaches are critical for improving healthcare quality and patient safety. The SEIPS (Systems Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety) model of work system and patient safety is a human factors systems approach that has been successfully applied in healthcare research and practice. Several research and practical applications of the SEIPS model are described. Important implications of the SEIPS model for healthcare system and process redesign are highlighted. Principles for redesigning healthcare systems using the SEIPS model are described. Balancing the work system and encouraging the active and adaptive role of workers are key principles for improving healthcare quality and patient safety.

Keywords: Balanced work system; Healthcare; Healthcare team; Macroergonomics; Patient safety; Patient-centered care; SEIPS model; Sociotechnical system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Ergonomics*
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Safety*
  • Patient-Centered Care
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Systems Integration