Co-Design with Patients for Improving Patient Safety: Strategies, Barriers and pitfalls

Proc Hum Factors Ergon Soc Annu Meet. 2023 Sep;67(1):633-638. doi: 10.1177/21695067231192416. Epub 2023 Oct 19.


What happens when "frontline" workers are patients and family members performing health-related tasks? As more and more complex healthcare tasks are performed by patients and family members, and more emphasis is placed on patient- and family-centered care, strategies are needed to engage patients and family members in co-design "work systems" and patient-professional collaborative work. Human factors professionals are well-equipped to apply participatory ergonomics to patient and collaborative tasks. However, there are a number of barriers and pitfalls in engaging patients in design. Moving from tokenism to meaningful engagement in research requires patience, constant reflection, and a commitment to codesign. Our panel will explore the continuum of engagement and strategies to move from tokenism to partnership to cocreation in patient safety research, ranging from ambulatory medication safety to diagnosis in the emergency department. Strategies and barriers are presented as a starting point to discuss how to achieve effective work system designs.

Keywords: Macroergonomics; Patient co-design; Patient engagement; Patient safety.