- As part of the science of human factors, usability engineering studies the interactions between people and the systems in which they function.
- Nurses can contribute to the usability process and patient safety through involvement in device development, procurement, and hazard analysis.
- Applying human factors heuristics (known standards) to medical device design can help identify potential usability problems that may contribute to adverse events or safety hazards.
In 2008, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement developed the Triple Aim as a framework to guide healthcare delivery in the United States. (See Triple Aim goals.) To meet these goals, healthcare organizations must function at high levels of efficiency, efficacy, and safety, which requires an engaged workforce who understands the organization’s mission and purpose.
Medical devices undergo a lengthy process before arriving at the bedside for use in patient care. Although many factors affect device safety, a robust usability engineering process is key to success. As part of the science of human factors, usability engineering studies the interactions between people and the systems in which they function, including ease of use, the conditions under which a device is used, the tasks completed by the user and the expected outcomes of use, and device users.