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
- Joint projects
- Research mentorship (e.g., NIH K-Career Awards)
highlights Our Current Projects
Project Firstline: foundational questions to inform infection control training and improvement
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
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
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.
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.
- Patience Osei selected as Johnson & Johnson One Young World Scholar (August 2017)
- "Hospital Discharge: It's One of the Most Dangerous Periods for Patients" (The Washington Post, April 29, 2016)
- "Researchers Explore Ways to Improve Patient Room Cleaning" (Health Facilities Management, February 16, 2017)
- "Johns Hopkins and CDC Prepare Emergency Department Staff to Care for Patients with Infectious Disease" (Medical Xpress, February 17, 2015)
- "Healthcare for Older People After They've Left the Hospital" (The Health Report, September 2, 2013)
Below is a selection of articles authored by Center for Health Care Human Factors team members.
Human Factors in Health Care
Gurses, A. P., Ozok, A. A., & Pronovost, P. J. (2011). Time to accelerate integration of human factors and ergonomics in patient safety. BMJ Qual Saf, bmjqs-2011.
Patient and Family Centeredness
Xie, A., Carayon, P., Cox, E. D., Cartmill, R., Li, Y., Wetterneck, T. B., & Kelly, M. M. (2015). Application of participatory ergonomics to the redesign of the family-centered rounds process. Ergonomics, 58(10), 1726-1744.
Infection Prevention and Control
Gurses, A. P., Seidl, K. L., Vaidya, V., Bochicchio, G., Harris, A. D., Hebden, J., & Xiao, Y. (2008). Systems ambiguity and guideline compliance: a qualitative study of how intensive care units follow evidence-based guidelines to reduce healthcare-associated infections. Quality and Safety in Health Care, 17(5), 351-359.
Rock, C., Cosgrove, S. E., Keller, S. C., Enos-Graves, H., Andonian, J., Maragakis, L. L., ... & Xie, A. (2016). Using a Human Factors Engineering Approach to Improve Patient Room Cleaning and Disinfection. Infection control and hospital epidemiology, 37(12), 1502-1506.
Health Information Technology and Medical Device Design
Rosen, M. A., Tran, G., Carolan, H., Romig, M., Dwyer, C., Dietz, A. S., ... & Pronovost, P. J. (2016). Data Driven Patient Safety and Clinical Information Technology. In Healthcare Information Management Systems (pp. 301-316). Springer International Publishing.
Pennathur, P. R., Thompson, D., Abernathy III, J. H., Martinez, E. A., Pronovost, P. J., Kim, G. R., ... & Gurses, A. P. (2013). Technologies in the wild (TiW): human factors implications for patient safety in the cardiovascular operating room. Ergonomics, 56(2), 205-219.
Keller, S. C., Gurses, A. P., Werner, N., Hohl, D., Hughes, A., Leff, B., & Arbaje, A. I. (2017). Older Adults and Management of Medical Devices in the Home: Five Requirements for Appropriate Use. Population health management.
Health Care System Design and Workflow
Carayon, P., Hundt, A. S., Karsh, B. T., Gurses, A. P., Alvarado, C. J., Smith, M., & Brennan, P. F. (2006). Work system design for patient safety: the SEIPS model. BMJ Quality & Safety, 15(suppl 1), i50-i58.
Holden, R. J., Carayon, P., Gurses, A. P., Hoonakker, P., Hundt, A. S., Ozok, A. A., & Rivera-Rodriguez, A. J. (2013). SEIPS 2.0: a human factors framework for studying and improving the work of healthcare professionals and patients. Ergonomics, 56(11), 1669-1686.
Nasarwanji MF, Werner NE, Carl K, Hohl D, Leff B, Gurses AP, Arbaje AI. Identifying Challenges Associated with the Hospital to Skilled Home Healthcare Transition Workflow: Perspectives of Home Healthcare Agency Providers. Home Health Care Services Quarterly. 2015 Jul-Dec; 34(3-4):185-203; Epub 2015 Oct 23.
Weaver, S. J., Benishek, L. E., Leeds, I., & Wick, E. C. (2017). The Relationship Between Teamwork and Patient Safety. In Surgical Patient Care (pp. 51-66). Springer International Publishing.
Hunt, E. A., Duval-Arnould, J. M., Chime, N. O., Jones, K., Rosen, M., Hollingsworth, M., ... & Jung, J. (2017). Integration of in-hospital cardiac arrest contextual curriculum into a basic life support course: a randomized, controlled simulation study. Resuscitation, 114, 127-132.
Rosen, M. A., Goeschel, C. A., Che, X. X., Fawole, J. O., Rees, D., Curran, R., ... & Weaver, S. J. (2015). Simulation in the executive suite: lessons learned for building patient safety leadership. Simulation in Healthcare, 10(6), 372-377.
Benishek, L. E., Lazzara, E. H., Gaught, W. L., Arcaro, L. L., Okuda, Y., & Salas, E. (2015). The template of events for applied and critical healthcare simulation (TEACH Sim): a tool for systematic simulation scenario design. Simulation in Healthcare, 10(1), 21-30.
High Reliability Organizations
Aboumatar, H. J., Weaver, S. J., Rees, D., Rosen, M. A., Sawyer, M. D., & Pronovost, P. J. (2017). Towards high-reliability organising in healthcare: a strategy for building organisational capacity. BMJ Qual Saf, bmjqs-2016.