A Proposal to Research about Home Health Care Systems for Chronic Disease Management based on Human Factors and Ergonomics (HFE) Principles
The time patients spend in clinical institutions has become significantly shorter. There was a shift from hospitalization to home health care for chronic diseases management in the U.S. einmid-1980s due to the employment growth (Carayon, 2011, p.743). According to the 2010 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment growth in hospitals is expected to be 10% while employment in smaller home health services is expected to grow at a rate of 46% (cited inCarayon, 2011, p.743). At the same time, chronic diseases, which can only be ...view middle of the document...
Human Factors and Ergonomics (HFEs) is the science to examine this kind of relationships and interactions between human beings and the systems based on principles such as safety, ease of usage, and habituation (Phanslkar et al., 2010, p. 494). According to the HFEs principles, current home health care systems have many issues. From the patients perspective, inadequate training and instructions are available for patients before they are transferto home care from hospital therefore they are unable to perform sufficient self-care or management. Within the system, bad communications have often happened such that medical information islost during transactions that can result in delay in medical care. And between patients and medical staff, information provided by the patients is inconsistent from one to another. Itis difficult for clinical staff to correctly understand the condition of a patient and make a decision effectively because of the subjective information given by patients can be very different from what the staffs perceive (Or et al., 2009, p.203-204).
Aside from the violations of HFEs principles from humans, current home health care systems rely on expensive telecommunication technology which is not enough individualized for different patients’ conditions (Viswanathan, Chen, &Pompili, 2012, p.94). A developed home care system requires user friendly and economic communication devices to integrate to be cost effective in the long run.
By identifying and categorizing these HFEs problems found in the current home health care systems and providing improvement suggestions will promote a better established remote health care system. In consequence, about half of the U.S. population who suffer from chronic diseases can have more effectiveself management and the U.S. can save a substantial amount of medical expenses since it is estimated that 80% of the clinical costs will be spent on chronic diseasesin the next 20 years (Jeong et al., 2012, p.572).
Statement of Problem
Currently several home health care services of similar structures are available in the market, however, the presences of many human factors and ergonomics issues prevent the patients with chronic illnesses from getting the optimal care at home. They occur in the interactions between human and non-human like measuring devices and information database, and the communication between patients and medical staff. Because the system is not well constructed and several functions are used by people incorrectly, additional cost of money and time then accumulates. Therefore identifying current HFEs issues in health care system and providing remedies according will offer the society a cost effective and user friendly home health care system.
Research on this topic will focus on identifying and the major HFEs issues in current home health care systems and their negative outcomes on chronic disease patients. The issues should be sorted in different categories so...