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Making Hospitals Safer

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ann Arbor, MI

An engaging talk on the role of human factors engineering in making medical devices safer and a tour of the National Center for Patient Safety’s hands-on museum of medical devices. Brought to you by The Michigan Usability Professionals’ Association and the University of Michigan student chapter of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

Often, healthcare professionals develop clever and creative workarounds when devices, equipment or architecture are not quite suitable. In other words, they become accustomed to making the hand fit the glove rather than demanding that the glove be designed to fit the hand. The VA National Center for Patient Safety (NCPS) has a hands-on collection of medical devices and equipment that came about to help convince clinicians that they didn’t have to accept these faulty designs. It provides an understanding of the principles that support designing systems for the way humans are built and how we function cognitively and physically.

Linda Williams will talk about how human factors engineering guides the NCPS approach to patient safety and will lead a tour through the hands-on collection.

If you come to this meeting you’ll leave determined never to enter the hospital because your sense of the risk involved will have been heightened. You’ll also leave reassured that through the application of principles of human factors engineering, real changes are being made.

About the Speaker

Linda is a member of the team at VA National Center for Patient Safety, serving initially as computer specialist, now part of program operations with the central focus of development and implementation of patient safety curriculum for physicians. Linda teaches an introductory human factors engineering session at faculty development workshops and is co-director of the patient safety fellowship program. She also is involved in the practical application of usability principles to medical devices and software. Linda holds an undergraduate nursing degree from the University of California at Los Angeles and an M.S.I. degree from the University of Michigan’s School of Information, a degree tailored to medical informatics with emphasis in human computer interaction.

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