The “exclamation mark” school of patient safetyBMJ 2012; 345 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e5731 (Published 23 August 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e5731
- Oliver Ellis, foundation year 1 doctor, Mersey Deanery
Patient safety advocates talk a lot about “human factors.” In the context of healthcare, this nebulous concept seems to boil down to the study of how and why people screw up. It’s a movement that’s gaining in popularity, and not before time, because—unfortunately—medicine still hasn’t properly got to grips with how humans actually work.
Look at your average ward noticeboard for a good example. Chances are that it’s covered in hundreds of pieces of paper in varying stages of yellow decay. Many of the messages will no longer …