Journal Article

From patients to politicians: a cognitive engineering view of patient safety.

Vicente KJ

Vicente provides an editorial on the importance of applying a “vertical approach” to reducing patient safety. The author acknowledges the role of the traditional human factors engineering approach and “horizontal” research at various system levels. However, he highlights an additional need for cognitive engineering, which takes a broader view, focusing on more than just the “nuts and bolts” of devices and considering the relationship between the device and the entire sociotechnologic system, which includes individuals, technology, and organizations. Vicente emphasizes looking at all levels of a hierarchy and how research should be integrated vertically between these levels. He suggests that patient safety is everyone’s business and that action should be taken on both the local and global level.