Healthcare systems need to be redesigned to provide care that is safe, effective and efficient, and meets the multiple needs of patients. This systematic review examines how human factors and ergonomics (HFE) is applied to redesign healthcare work systems and processes and improve quality and safety of care. We identified 12 projects representing 23 studies and addressing different physical, cognitive and organisational HFE issues in a variety of healthcare systems and care settings. Some evidence exists for the effectiveness of HFE-based healthcare system redesign in improving process and outcome measures of quality and safety of care. We assessed risk of bias in 16 studies reporting the impact of HFE-based healthcare system redesign and found varying quality across studies. Future research should further assess the impact of HFE on quality and safety of care, and clearly define the mechanisms by which HFE-based system redesign can improve quality and safety of care.
Keywords: SEIPS model; healthcare system redesign; human factors and ergonomics; patient safety; quality of care; systematic review.