Plenary Speaker 4
Dr. Sarita Dara
Senior Medical Officer,
Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand
Topic: Healthcare lands safely - Transposition of aerospace human factors lessons to improve healthcare systems and patient safety
Healthcare and Aerospace systems are complex sociotechnical systems involving skilled human operators who deal with emergent and complex situations daily. The consequences of errors are high, and the expectations are to deliver to high standards of care and safety.
There is little tolerance for failure in the aerospace sector as aviation accidents can be catastrophic with high mortality and capture instant public attention. The cumulative cost of treatment injuries is phenomenal but often not noticed as this cause individual harm unlike aviation accidents. However, insurances are driving change in healthcare, to manage these cumulative and escalating costs of managing healthcare, leading to a systems approach developing in the healthcare industry.
Aerospace sector has adopted and internalised human factors principles and practices to achieve and maintain flight safety. Aviation industry traditionally is known to have a strong safety culture and uses systems thinking approach to problem solving.
Healthcare sector is already learning from the Aerospace Sector.
This talk will explore how Healthcare Human Factors can leverage of Aerospace Human Factors principles and practices and showcase some examples of successful lessons that have been adopted to improve patient safety. Issues such as shift work and fatigue risk management, design of work processes, medication management, physical and cognitive ergonomics, checklists, training, teamwork, and a safety culture are all relevant in safe delivery of healthcare. Work is ongoing in many of these areas and healthcare sector has made some meaningful gains by adapting lessons learnt from the aerospace sector.
Dr Sarita Dara (PhD, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore) is dually qualified and experienced in Medicine and Engineering and has an MD in Aerospace Medicine and PhD in Human Factors Engineering. She is also trained in Occupational Medicine and Public Health.
She has worked as a physician, educator and researcher in India, USA, Singapore and New Zealand for over two decades. She currently works as Senior Medical Officer, Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand and as a Space Medicine and Human Factors Consultant and Occupational Medicine Physician with Humane Factors Exponential Limited.
Prior to working in New Zealand, she was the Head of Aerospace Physiology and Human Factors at Singapore Aeromedical Centre and was involved in simulator-based training in Aerospace Medicine, Human Factors and Occupational Health while also practicing clinical Aviation Medicine for military and civil sectors.
She is a certified Human Factors Engineer with the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of New Zealand (HFESNZ) and an Assessor, HFESNZ Professional Assessment Board. She is a peer reviewer for Applied Ergonomics journal.
"Issues such as shift work and fatigue risk management, design of work processes, medication management, physical and cognitive ergonomics, checklists, training, teamwork, and a safety culture are all relevant in safe delivery of healthcare."
Dr. Thiaga Rajan Palanivel
Minister for Finance and Human Resources
Tamil Nadu, India
Professor Sidney W.A. Dekker
Professor David C. Caple
La Trobe University
Dr. Sarita Dara
Civil Aviation Authority
Professor Arto Reiman
University of Oulu
Professor Andrew Thatcher
University of the Witwatersrand
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