Human factors paradigm and customer care perceptions.

Clarke, Colin and Eales-Reynolds, Lesley-Jane (2015) Human factors paradigm and customer care perceptions. International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, 28(3), pp. 288-299. ISSN (print) 0952-6862


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to examine if customer care (CC) can be directly linked to patient safety through a human factors (HF) framework. Design/methodology/approach - Data from an online questionnaire, completed by a convenience healthcare worker sample (n=373), was interrogated using thematic analysis within Vincent et al.'s (1998) HF theoretical framework. This proposes seven areas affecting patient safety: institutional context, organisation and management, work environment, team factors, individual, task and patient. Findings - Analysis identified responses addressing all framework areas. Responses (597) principally focused on work environment 40.7 per cent (n=243), organisation and management 28.8 per cent (n=172). Nevertheless, reference to other framework areas were clearly visible within the data: teams 10.2 per cent (n=61), individual 6.7 per cent (n=40), patients 6.0 per cent (n=36), tasks 4.2 per cent (n=24) and institution 3.5 per cent (n=21). Findings demonstrate congruence between CC perceptions and patient safety within a HF framework. Research limitations/implications - The questionnaire requested participants to identify barriers to rather than CC enablers. Although this was at a single site complex organisation, it was similar to those throughout the NHS and other international health systems. Practical implications - CC can be viewed as consonant with patient safety rather than the potentially dangerous consumerisation stance, which could ultimately compromise patient safety. Originality/value - This work provides an original perspective on the link between CC and patient safety and has the potential to re-focus healthcare perceptions.

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