Human factors is a scientific discipline that focuses on understanding human performance within a given system.

In the context of healthcare, it involves studying the effects of teamwork, tasks, equipment, workspace, culture, and organisation on human behaviour and abilities. By integrating human factors principles into the design of healthcare systems, processes, and tasks, we can enhance clinical performance and improve patient safety.

This approach involves better designing healthcare systems and equipment to reduce harm, understanding why healthcare staff make errors and how system factors threaten patient safety, improving the safety culture of teams and organisations, enhancing teamwork and communication among healthcare staff, and improving incident investigation and learning from mistakes.

Human factors encompasses all the environmental, organisational, and job factors, as well as individual characteristics, that influence behaviour at work. By applying human factors principles, we can predict potential risks and improve the design of new hospitals and healthcare processes.