Fakultäten » Medizinische Fakultät » Infektionskrankheiten und Spitalhygiene, Klinik für » Prof. Dr. Rainer Weber » Sax

Completed research project

Title / Titel Human factors informed analysis of infectious risk moments
PDF Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)
Summary / Zusammenfassung Working hypothesis: Cumulative healthcare-associated infectious risk resides to a considerable proportion in seemingly innocent but frequent care-related manipulations at ‘infectious risk moments’ (IRM). IRM are associated with contextual behavioral determinants that are better understood on a system than on an individual level. Human Factors science provides excellent investigational instruments for this type of research.

Objectives:1.To determine the full range of partially still unidentified IRM including but going beyond indications for hand hygiene, in the real-life context of everyday acute care work processes2.To understand the determinants for safe versus unsafe behavior at IRM on an individual and systems level including physical (tools and workplace design), cognitive (mental models, cognitive work load, automatic behavior), and psychosocial (social norms, team management, opinion leadership) factors 3.To anticipate Human factors driven system design solutions to sustain safe HCW behavior.

Study procedures and methods: Prolonged time in the field in 3 typical acute care wards (general surgical ward, intensive care unit, emergency ward) allows fora rich contextual data collection analyzed by state-of-the-art methods.

Objective 1: a) Semi-structured and structured observations to produce a tentative broad IRM inventory; b) Delphi process with an international infection control expert panel to establish and rate IRM with their risk level and outcome; c)Structured observations to assess the frequency and distribution of IRM.Objective 2: a) Workplace and device design: observations with think-aloud protocols; b) Mental models: concept mapping with HCWs and experts; semi-structured interviews, focus groups; c) Cognitive workload and automatic behavior: behavior simulator experiments using the NASA Task Load Index, think-aloud protocols, concept mapping; d) Perceived social norms, social interaction, opinion leadership: observation, interviews, focus groups, surveys.Objective 3: Emerging design suggestions submitted to a HF expert panel, simulator experiments.

Expected value of the project: This project is designed to produce a break-through in the field of infection control. Its novel approach lies in the assessment of IRM and associated behavioral determinants in a rich real-live system context using a powerful mixed-methods approach. The results will allow building a comprehensive infectious risk model with direct implications for patient safety. They will also lay the foundation for an effectiveness trial for infectious outcomes
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
PD Dr med Hugo Sax (Project Leader)
PhD Tanja Manser
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
SNF (Programm NFS/NCCR)
In collaboration with /
In Zusammenarbeit mit
Prof Tanja Manser, Human Factors and Industrial Psychology, University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland Switzerland
Duration of Project / Projektdauer Jun 2014 to May 2017