Human Factors – no longer an option
The publication in September 2015 of the National Safety Standards in Invasive Procedures is a major positive move. http://www.england.nhs.uk/2015/09/07/natssips/
Dr Mike Durkin, NHS England Director of Patient Safety, said: "This is the first time that national safety standards have been set and endorsed by all relevant professional bodies". These include the royal colleges, the Care Quality Commission, the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the General Medical Council, Monitor, the Trust Development Agency, and Health Education England.
Dr William Harrop-Griffiths, Consultant Anaesthetist at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and chair of the group that developed the standards, said: "The NatSSIPs contain 13 key standards which cover all aspects of the patient journey throughout an invasive procedure, ensuring safety checks are performed by the team providing care at every critical step in the pathway."
"However, this work is not just about establishing a network of safety checks. It is about ensuring that safe care standards are harmonised both within and between hospitals, and that learning from the development of local standards based on these national standards is shared by all."
Now good Human Factors practice is no longer an option.
Indeed the GMC has recently run its own online discussion document focussing on Human Factors which will undoubtedly have a bearing on future accepted practice.
There is nothing new here, but just giving it the official stamp of approval makes a huge difference, especially by all the professional bodies. This is fantastic news and a real step change, at last. Now comes the challenge of how to ensure such good practice is adopted effectively, not just lip service.
Classroom teaching to raise awareness and understanding of Human Factors is the starting point as used to great effect in other high-risk, but resilient professions like aviation, but how do we embed the learning long term? E-learning certainly has its place in supporting and cementing knowledge, but is unlikely to create behavioural change in isolation.
By and large people learn through experience, through being able to put theories and practical tools into practice day to day, and the culture of an organisation has to support that learning.
The major point is that people have to want to change the way they do things. Coaching and mentoring can certainly help. Those organisations that have invested in training and role-modelling from the top have achieved high performance that has sustained. They are beacons for effective care.
These new standards are currently aimed at invasive procedures, but it cannot be long before all of Health and Social Care formally recognises the critical importance of safer working behaviours.
Atrainability have been a leading provider of Human Factors Solutions to the healthcare industry for well over a decade, with over 100 years of training experience in our delivery team across a range of safety critical/high performance industries. Many NHS Trusts and private providers have already recognised this and to we have trained thousands of professionals across the UK.
Atrainability offer a range of training and coaching options
- Trust-wide programmes that are designed to cover all departments and embed safety Champions and train the front-line teams and individuals. This aspect also covers leadership specialised courses and Master-classes and supportive coaching
- Train the Champion courses, minimum two days, ideally three or more. They offer an in-depth understanding of Human Factors principles and the tools and skills that help the front line teams to work safe. The by-product is sufficient understanding to look into Root Cause Analysis to see beyond what people did but to look into why
- Human factors awareness modules for front line teams that can be delivered throughout the year in modular design
- Supportive work-place coaching to cement the knowledge and skill.
As many of you know psychopaths are thankfully rare in health and social care but human fallibility is a given. Long term safety enhancements come from knowledge and demonstrable skills. We are here and ready to help.