Improving Equipment Purchasing Decisions

Through Human Factors Engineering

by Lisa Lau, Brian Vargo, and Izabella Gieras

Human Factors Engineering (HFE) is increasingly accepted as a powerful approach to improve patient safety through technology management.  However, most hospitals are hesitant to introduce HFE without guidance from a Human Factors (HF) engineer.  The HFE approach described in this article is meant to enhance the traditional equipment evaluation model and can be performed by clinical engineers and biomedical equipment technicians in collaboration with other healthcare professionals.  Thus, the following case study demonstrates how small hospitals and hospitals without access to an HF engineer can apply HFE quickly and effectively to improve patient and caregiver safety by enhancing equipment purchasing decisions.

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