Human Factors in Environmental and Occupational Health

Human factors play a vital role in health care provision. They ensure that patients get appropriate care as their condition demands. Incorporating human elements in health care is a valuable way to eliminate preventable medical errors. Many people succumb to medical errors that we can prevent each year. Some critical human factors that significantly impact health care are teamwork, knowledge, and lack of technology.

How do lack of teamwork, lack of knowledge, and lack of technology impact the occurrence of preventable medical errors? In health care provision, teamwork occurs when the medical services providers, the family of the patient, and the patient work together. In most medical institutes, some systems ensure every stakeholder receives every information taking place in the institution. They are ensuring that there are minimal miscommunications in any involved party. Communication between these three parties will significantly influence the patient’s recovery. Encouraging family members on the importance of participating in their loved one’s treatment is therefore essential. Informing patients about their recovery progress is an excellent way of involving them. Family members can be made to understand the condition of their patients. (Houseman & Rodziewicz, 2021) If every step is followed in the medical sector, there could be minimal errors leading to injuries, prolonged healing, and deaths in some cases. Consistent checks on every patient should be made a culture.

How do Human factors influence healthcare errors? Nurses, doctors, and staff need to be well informed on how to take care of patients and ensure that their files are visible to everyone in case of an emergency; other nurses or doctors may help them with no delays. Family members should also be informed of the treatment of their loved ones. This should be every time the hospital is contacted about patients. Personally, as a human factor in the assigned healthcare career, I was responsible for a patient who was once involved in a road accident and got internal bleeding. Every other fracture was corrected in the hospital except for a minor backbone injury; after she complained of having a backache, the nurses told her that everything would be okay after healing. The situation continued but with no reply from any doctor. After her discharge, she explained to have come back to the hospital in a wheelchair. We couldn’t explain how immense the minor backbone injury was, but it made her a disabled person, maybe never to walk again. Following this case, it is always excruciating; having an error that could be prevented causes a permanent living situation.

Therefore, the combination of the hospital staff in ensuring that no patient is unattended will reduce the patient handling errors. With every party well-informed and playing their role effectively, some of the medical errors could be avoided. Educating the patients about their conditions would help them contribute effectively to their recovery, making them understand that following the doctor’s regulations and prescriptions is of their own good other than ignorance. Also, proper use of technological equipment, including obtaining x-ray photographs, and having full-body scans, will reduce medical errors. These instruments should be ensured to be in good working conditions for efficiency.

How can patients and their families be included in the healthcare team, and how would this impact healthcare? A health care team is only complete when the family and the patient work together. To ensure that the patient receives quality care and preventable medical errors are eliminated, the three parties should be encouraged to work together. (Houseman & Rodziewicz, 2021) Educating them on the importance of teamwork is one way of ensuring participation. Well-informed patients and family members would also ask relevant questions which would contribute effectively to the recovery of their family members.

In a patient’s recovery, it is necessary to consider human factors to prevent patients from being victims of medical errors. The most crucial factor for successful recovery is teamwork, which includes everyone responsible for the patients’ well-being, how to handle patients at home, and giving legal first aid if an emergency occurs and before the patient is handed over to the doctors. Appropriate technology refers to the hospital equipment that may be required in diagnosing common diseases in most people.

In conclusion, it is advisable for every party involved in any patient’s situation to take cautious measures. Protecting each stakeholder from contagious infections and also having the ability to prevent the further spread of such diseases. These medical errors occur primarily due to the lack of understanding in most victims and being ignorant; this is for most families involved in a patient’s condition.

Reference

Thomas Benjamin Houseman; John E. Hipskind L. Rudzewicz; (2021). Medical error reduction and prevention – Stat Pearls – NCBI bookshelf. National Center for Biotechnology Information.