Human Factors with Tamara, Gary and Chris.

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Screenshot 2014-03-02 18.47.26
Tamara Hills

Warning –  The video contained in this post will make you stop and forget what you are doing. It might just change the way you think about error in healthcare forever.

Human factors (HF) are increasingly a focus of patient safety and training in resuscitation. In brief they are the cognitive, behavioural and social skills that complement technical ability in healthcare. Much of the work to develop HF (or Crew Resource Management, CRM, as it is sometimes known) developed in the airline industry, but subsequently we have introduced many of the principles into healthcare. At CMFT we have some great examples of HF training. In foundation we have a long running series of training days with @atrainability which aims to embed HF into our most junior doctors.

Undergrad also run a series of simulation and training days incorporating the principles of HF.

In postgrad there are many examples of simulation training with a strong focus on HF learning in paediatrics, obstetrics and emergency medicine which in my opinion have led to tangible benefits for patients and staff.

Occasionally I come across HF sceptics…..

  • Is HF something that we do anyway?
  • Does it matter?
  • Is it not just something that we can pick up through experience?

Unsurprisingly I would say NO! Human factors are something that we can all learn and are something that we can all benefit from. Having said that if you are a still a sceptic then I doubt you’d be convinced by that last statement. I will leave my persuasion to someone who knows much more than I do.

Tamara Hills is a nurse who works on the Sunshine Coast in Australia. I met her though twitter and her blog which is well worth a read. She works in emergency care and is a strong advocate of HF/CRM learning. If you want to know why watch the short video below. It’s an incredibly powerful argument for us all to stop and think about medical error and what we can do about it.


I am very grateful for the Hills in sharing this story. It’s an incredibly powerful message for all of us involved in patient care and in particular in critical care specialities.

This video was put together as part of a Pecha Kucha competition at the Social Media and Critical Care conference this month in Australia. I am really looking forward to meeting Tamara there (Ed – had to drop that in eh!), together with Alan Grayson and Natalie May from the emergency department. You may hear more about PK talks in the future as they are an amazingly powerful way of getting a message across (and they are also great fun when done well). I may also mention powerpoint karaoke as well….., another time maybe.

And the last word really should go to Chris (if this twitter link works on CMFT computers)

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