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Episode 104: Human Factor Ergonomics Applied to Healthcare Leadership

Updated: Jun 20, 2023

Introducing Michael R. Privitera, MD, MS. Dr. Privitera is Professor of Psychiatry at University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), and Medical Director, Medical Faculty and Clinician Wellness Program, which works on individual and organizational interventions to reduce clinician burnout.

Topic: Human Factor Ergonomics Applied to Healthcare Leadership

  • Tell us how you have been able to apply Human Factor Ergonomics (HFE) to your own health system to reduce burnout and turnover?

  • What is Extraneous Cognitive Load (ECL) and how does this contribute to burnout?

  • What are 2 key ways in which you have used HFE to address ECL and Burnout improving your healthsystem bottom line?

For more information or to contact Dr. Privitera visit his website at

ABSTRACT: In the dynamic and stressful environment of healthcare, leadership training has not evolved to incorporate the rapid technology advancement with the connectivity and enhanced accountability that has come with it. Hence, there is a gap in leader best practice to account for human adaptation lagging behind technological advances in healthcare. Leadership’s basic level understanding of human factors could help prevent or mitigate negative impact from the variety of externally imposed expectations on clinicians that currently drive many hospital leader decisions. The new models proposed here build on traditional safety models of systemic barriers or defenses used in complex systems but integrate a consideration for human factors affecting outcomes. This framework can help leaders more realistically weigh risks and benefits of healthcare initiatives to avoid negative consequences of their decisions.

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