Human factors paradigm and customer care perceptions

  • Clarke C
  • Eales-Reynolds L
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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

Author-supplied keywords

  • Customer care
  • Human factors
  • NHS
  • Patient safety
  • Thematic analysis

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  • Colin Clarke

  • Lesley Jane Eales-Reynolds

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