PS 103 Lesson 1: Understanding the Science of Human Factors
No matter who you are, how smart you are, or how hard you try, you can always make an error. How many of us have walked out the front door only to realize we left our keys on the counter?

Human beings by their very nature are hardwired in such a way that errors are inevitable, and given certain circumstances — such as being tired, bored, distracted, stressed, or frequently interrupted — the chance of making errors goes up exponentially. The purpose of this lesson is to build awareness of the ways in which multiple factors in the workplace, involving both people and their surroundings, can contribute to error.
Estimated Time of Completion: 25 minutes
Learning Objectives
After completing this lesson, you will be able to:
1. Define the science of human factors.
2. Discuss patterns in human thought that make people prone to error.
3. Give examples of factors that contribute to error in your everyday life and in health care.
Rollin J. (Terry) Fairbanks, MD, MS, FACEP, CPPS, Vice President Quality and Safety, MedStar Health View Profile
Frank Federico, RPh, Vice President, Senior Patient Safety Expert, Institute for Healthcare Improvement View Profile
Laura Fink, Director, Editorial and Online Learning, Institute for Healthcare Improvement View Profile
Lucian Leape, MD, Adjunct Professor of Health Policy, Harvard School of Public Health View Profile
You must be a registered user to take this lesson.
You must achieve a minimum score of 75% to successfully complete this lesson.