Appeared in Applied Ergonomics. Link
Primary health care is a complex, highly personal, and non-linear process. Care is often sub-optimal and professional burnout is high. Interventions intended to improve the situation have largely failed. This is due to a lack of a deep understanding of primary health care. Human Factors approaches and methods will aid in understanding the cognitive, social and technical needs of these specialties, and in designing and testing proposed innovations. In 2012, Ben-Tzion Karsh, Ph.D., conceived a transdisciplinary conference to frame the opportunities for research human factors and industrial engineering in primary care. In 2013, this conference brought together experts in primary care and human factors to outline areas where human factors methods can be applied. The results of this expert consensus panel highlighted four major research areas: Cognitive and social needs, patient engagement, care of community, and integration of care. Work in these areas can inform the design, implementation, and evaluation of innovations in Primary Care. We provide descriptions of these research areas, highlight examples and give suggestions for future research.