• Human Factors in Healthcare: Designing Safe Systems

    Human Factors in Healthcare: Designing Safe Systems

    Department of Anaesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine

Why do the course

Human factors is a science that applies knowledge of human physical, cognitive and social abilities and limitations to design systems, organisations, jobs, and technology for safe and efficient performance. In clinical settings this includes technologies such as electronic prescribing software, surgical instruments, and all aspects of organisational, team, and clinical processes.

The aims of this course are to introduce the skills and methods used by human factors practitioners. Participants will learn how human factors can be applied to common healthcare problems such as medication safety, teamwork and leadership, and device safety through video lectures, readings and self-directed learning. By doing so, it will encourage the participants to improve patient safety at a managerial or clinical level with a broader base of skills than is commonly available within health services.



  • Explain human factors principles and approaches to healthcare quality and safety.
  • Analyse healthcare team leadership and communication using human factors frameworks.
  • Identify safety risks of medical devices and the role of design and usability in reducing risks.
  • Analyse human factors problems involved in medication errors.
  • Identify safety risks and human factors problems in perioperative care.
  • Explain the limitations of learning from incident reporting and understand alternative approaches.

Course Dates

  • March Course: 25 March – 10 May 2024
  • August Course: 19 August - 4 October 2024


  • Seven week course and seven course modules (one released each week).
  • Allows for flexibility in work patterns – once a module is released weekly, lectures and reading material can be viewed at own pace and at any time.
  • Online only, no on-campus attendance required.
  • Each course module consists of a reading package, journal articles, short videos, podcasts and knowledge check sections or a combination.
  • No assessments (nor minimum pass mark).
  • All participants have extra one month to access the course modules.
  • You can download the Certificate of Completion at the end of the course if you have accessed and completed all the course modules and the final course survey.

Time Commitment:

4 - 6 hours per week (on average)