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J Nurs Adm. 2008 Jan;38(1):27-32.

Enhancing healthcare process design with human factors engineering and reliability science, part 1: setting the context.

Author information

  • Department of Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems, University of Washington School of Nursing, Seattle, WA, USA. carolanneflash@aol.com


The design and implementation of efficient, effective, and safe processes are never-ending challenges in healthcare. Less than optimal performance levels and rising concerns about patient safety suggest that traditional process design methods are insufficient to meet design requirements. In this 2-part series, the author presents human factors engineering and reliability science as important knowledge to enhance existing operational and clinical process design methods in healthcare. An examination of these theories, application approaches, and examples are presented.

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