#HFES2014 International Symposium on Human Factors & Ergonomics in Healthcare

The 2014 International Symposium on Human Factors & Ergonomics in Healthcare is currently going on in my hometown Chicago, but I’m not there! :( Oh well, I’ll follow the excellent tweets containing the hashtag #HFES2014 (or is it #HFES…?). I’ll add some here, surrounded by commentary. As usual, I’ll focus on usability and workflow. Please come back as I’ll be adding more tweets (such as, maybe, yours!) and more commentary as it occurs to me.

Just a little habit of mine. I like counting the number of “workflows” in healthcare workflow-related documents. I know I should also count potential synonyms such as “process” and maybe even normalize by deciding by total number or words…. but too much work! It’s just a superficial, but nonetheless surprisingly useful, signifier.

The next few tweets link to conference abstracts about healthcare workflow.

Third-party tweets:

If true, I find this shift troubling. One of the most potent criticisms of meaningful use is that it’s been too much about how (specifically, micromanaging workflow), not enough about clinical and financial outcomes and whether meaningful use actually improves them.

I absolutely agree with the idea that modular development is essential to the creation of effective, efficient, flexible and satisfying software systems. I would go on, though, to advocate use of workflow technologies to combine and execute these modules effectively, efficiently, and flexibly. Take a look at the following abstract from Usable Clinical Groupware Requires Modular Components and Business Process Management (I’ve bolded the key phrase):

“Future extensible clinical groupware will coordinate delivery of EHR functionality to teams of users by combining modular components with executable process models whose usability (effectiveness, efficiency, and user satisfaction) will be systematically improved using business process management techniques.”

“poorly supported work processes [cause] suboptimal, non-standard care, poor decision support, dropped cases”

Again, I absolutely agree with the above characterization of the relationship between work processes and those bad things…., but what’s a “work process”? It’s workflow! OK, lets think about this for a minute. What do we use to management information? Information technology. What do we use to harness solar energy? Solar technology. So, how should healthcare management workflow? How about: workflow technology?

See following tweet:

  • Research on human trust in automation and how trust affects interactions
  • How team interactions are affected by automation
  • Models of effective human-automation interaction/autonomy

Cool! Looks like full text is behind paywall, but at least abstracts are available. I even see a professor I took a graduate course from during my Industrial Engineering degree! I’ll tweet some of the papers and embed them here.

Addendum

Selected papers from the most recent issue of Human Factors (mentioned by @akiani_fr on the #HFES2014 #HFES thread).


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