Human factors and patient safety: changing roles in critical care

Mandy Odell
Australian Critical Care: Official Journal of the Confederation of Australian Critical Care Nurses 2011, 24 (4): 215-7
The high numbers of patients suffering from adverse incidents has resulted in wide spread commitment to improving patient safety. While a lack of technical skill can play a part, there is growing evidence that poor non-technical skills can be a major cause of error in healthcare. Non-technical skills, or human factors, play an important role in improving team function and improving these skills can drive improvements in patient safety and outcome. This editorial challenges traditional role stereo-types, and argues that fundamental changes in the behaviour of professionals need to be made, and sustained, in order that the whole team can make a valuable contribution to the patient safety agenda.

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