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The first edition of Handbook of Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care and Patient Safety took the medical and ergonomics communities by storm with in-depth coverage of human factors and ergonomics research, concepts, theories, models, methods, and interventions and how they can be applied in health care. Other books focus on particular human factors and ergonomics issues such as human error or design of medical devices or a specific application such as emergency medicine. This book draws on both areas to provide a compendium of human factors and ergonomics issues relevant to health care and patient safety.

The second edition takes a more practical approach with coverage of methods, interventions, and applications and a greater range of domains such as medication safety, surgery, anesthesia, and infection prevention. New topics include:

  • work schedules
  • error recovery
  • telemedicine
  • workflow analysis
  • simulation
  • health information technology development and design
  • patient safety management

Reflecting developments and advances in the five years since the first edition, the book explores medical technology and telemedicine and puts a special emphasis on the contributions of human factors and ergonomics to the improvement of patient safety and quality of care. In order to take patient safety to the next level, collaboration between human factors professionals and health care providers must occur. This book brings both groups closer to achieving that goal.

Hospitals are large and complex organizations, yet they function largely without sophistication and technology inherent in other large businesses. In a time when well over half of all hospitals report negative operating margins, driving down costs through logistics and the supply chain is one of the most important yet overlooked areas for cost improvements. Hospitals and other healthcare systems spend more time and money on their supply chain than on physicians and doctors salaries combined. This is one of the first books to focus on the core business support services typically called “logistics” in healthcare. These include: Hospital materials management and the clinical supply chain Laundry and linen management eCommerce and technology in hospital logistics Accounting for medical supplies and inventories Inventory management Healthcare vendor collaboration Demand and supply planning This is an ideal text for healthcare administrators and functional business managers responsible for purchasing, receiving, supplier management, business planning, accounting, and hospital administration as well as for students of hospital business services.

In both rich and poor nations, public resources for health care are inadequate to meet demand. Policy makers and health care providers must determine how to provide the most effective health care to citizens using the limited resources that are available. This chapter describes current and future challenges in the delivery of health care, and outlines the role that operations research (OR) models can play in helping to solve those problems. The chapter concludes with an overview of this book – its intended audience, the areas covered, and a description of the subsequent chapters. KEY WORDS Health care delivery, Health care planning HEALTH CARE DELIVERY: PROBLEMS AND CHALLENGES 3 1.1 WORLDWIDE HEALTH: THE PAST 50 YEARS Human health has improved significantly in the last 50 years. In 1950, global life expectancy was 46 years [1]. That figure rose to 61 years by 1980 and to 67 years by 1998 [2]. Much of these gains occurred in low- and middle-income countries, and were due in large part to improved nutrition and sanitation, medical innovations, and improvements in public health infrastructure.