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The Armstrong Institute Center for Health Care Human Factors Female nurse walking down the hallway with a patient

The Armstrong Institute Center for Health Care Human Factors is dedicated to improving the way that people — health care professionals, patients and families — interact with care systems so that they are safer, high performing and patient-centered. We bring a scientific approach to reengineering health care systems and processes so that medical errors are "designed out" and evidence-based care is built in.

The center brings together experts in human factors and organizational psychology with an interdisciplinary group of researchers, practitioners and educators who want to design health care systems and technologies that work for people, rather than set them up for mistakes and inefficiencies.


Services, Workshops and Speakers

The Center for Health Care Human Factors offers several services to help health care organizations and industry to improve safety, quality and productivity in care delivery.

  • Our team has extensive expertise in product design and usability evaluations across the product development life cycle. These products may include, but are not limited to, medical devices, health-related consumer products, combination products and health IT products such as electronic medical records and mobile health apps. Below is a sample of services provided:

    • Human-centered design
    • Interface design
    • Instructional material design
    • Expert heuristic evaluation
    • Formative and summative usability evaluation
    • Design of warnings and labels

    Contact us to discuss how we can help ensure the safety, effectiveness, user satisfaction, ease of learning and efficiency of your products.

  • Bring a team to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland, or have us come to your facility to deliver a training program tailored to your organization's needs and your audience. Aside from programs that provide a broad overview of human factors and systems-based approaches for health care improvement, we can deliver workshops to help your organization tackle specific challenges, such as:

    • Infection control and prevention
    • Medication safety
    • Health IT design and implementation
    • Improving the safety of care transitions
    • Medical device design, usability and safety
    • Proactive risk assessments and root-cause analyses
    • Health care worker safety and well-being

    Contact us for details.

  • Our human factors researchers and practitioners have deep experience in helping organizations to reduce preventable patient harm and improve care delivery. Our consulting teams can help your organization to:

    • Redesign work systems to achieve your goals, such as preventing infections, reducing readmissions or improving patient flow
    • Perform medical accident investigations following sentinel events, using a model similar to a National Transportation Safety Board investigation
    • Enhance patient-centeredness of care
    • Implement health information technology
    • Conduct failure modes and effects analyses
    • Develop training videos and manuals that are effective and usable because they are based on human factors and risk analysis approaches
    • Many other patient safety and health care improvement initiatives

    Contact us to discuss your needs.

  • We have nationally and internationally recognized human factors faculty and experts who are frequently sought-after speakers. Please contact us to discuss speaking engagement opportunities and specific topics.

    Email us to inquire about a speaker.

Work With Us

Are you pursuing a career in human factors or seeking to incorporate human factors principles, approaches and methods into your efforts to improve patient safety? The Center for Health Care Human Factors welcomes inquiries from health care leaders, human factors experts, organizational psychologists, clinician scientists, health care professionals, experts from other scientific disciplines, trainees and students about opportunities to join our team or collaborate with us.


  • Postdoctoral fellowships
  • Research opportunities for students, trainees and junior scientists
  • Internships

Collaboration Opportunities

  • Joint projects
  • Research mentorship (e.g., NIH K-Career Awards)

Our Current Projects

Project Firstline: foundational questions to inform infection control training and improvement

CDC N00024-13-D-6400

The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) and the Johns Hopkins Medicine Armstrong Institute Center for Health Care Human Factors have partnered to explore enhancements to infection control within the built environment and workflows within, for the nation’s operating rooms (ORs) and other clinical spaces.

A Human Factors and Systems Engineering Approach for Understanding the Diagnostic Process and Associated Hazards in the Emergency Department

AHRQ R01HS027198-01

The aim of this project is to understand provider (physician and advanced practice provider) work involved in ED diagnosis and identify associated performance shaping factors, to understand collaborative work involved in ED diagnosis and identify associated performance shaping factors and to conduct a proactive risk assessment of the diagnostic process in the ED.

Strategies for Improving Opioid Use in Perioperative Pain Management

CDC R01CE003150-01-00
We developed a Perioperative Pain Program (PPP) to coordinate the continuum of care for surgical patients on chronic opioid therapy throughout the perioperative period. The objective of the proposed project is to evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of the PPP.

PROMIS Learning Lab: Partnership in Resilience for Medication Safety

AHRQ-JHU sub to UTA R18HS027277-01

The goal of the project is to develop and test innovative tools and design guidelines to enable partnering between patients/families and professionals to reduce harms from inappropriate practices of medication use.


See more Center projects

News and Research Publications

Through appearances in news media and by authoring academic publications, the center's experts have established themselves as international leaders in the application of human factors to improving patient safety and health care quality.


Contact Us

Contact us any questions about our work and how we may be able to collaborate with your team to reduce preventable harms, enhance patient outcomes and experiences, and reduce waste in care delivery.

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