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Co-designing Human Factor and IT Solutions for Optimal Clinical Team Working

Funded under the SFI ADVANCE CRT Programme 2022 Intake

 Centre for Innovative Human Systems, School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin & St James’s Hospital Dublin

We have a very exciting opportunity for a fully funded 4-year PhD position commencing in September 2022.  The focus of the PhD will be on co-designing Human Factor and IT solutions for optimal clinical team working.

Recent studies have shown that usability of health IT systems “remains suboptimal” and provided policy recommendations to deepen and broaden the application of Human Factor methods and Systems thinking principles in health IT (Carayon and Hoonakker,2019).   For example, Electronic Patient or Health Record (EPR) implementation is associated with improvements in documentation, and screening performance, and reduced prescribing errors, however there is minimal available data in terms of impact on clinical team working and patient outcomes (Priestman et al 2018).   

These systems have often been hoisted on organisations without any preliminary groundwork in relation to understanding the roles and relationships among clinicians, the points of contact in relation to care, and the shared clinical decision-making processes.  In healthcare these processes are extremely complex due to legacy issues surrounding the challenges healthcare teams face (Lyuobvnikova, West et al 2015). However, in order to improve the use of EPR and maximise the potential gains in terms of quality and safety of care these issues need to be understood and further researched.

An action research and qualitative research design is proposed in order to gain the necessary insight into these issues in order to identify opportunities to overcome the barriers and leverage the facilitators and suggest ways of co-designing this understanding into future iterations of EPRs.  The research will take place in St James’s Hospital with a particular focus on how the EPR supports clinical working among healthcare teams (medical, nursing and Health and Social Care Professionals) on Ward Rounds. The ultimate aim will be to optimise the use of EPR for patient care and to maximise the potential gains in terms of patient safety.

For more information on the specifics of the proposal and on the ADVANCE PhD Programme please follow this link  Apply to ADVANCE - Advance CRT ( The deadline for applications is April 1st, 2022.

Contact Details:

Assistant Professor Siobhán Corrigan, School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin
Adjunct Assistant Professor Marie Ward, Health Systems Learning and Research Facilitator, Quality and Safety Improvement Directorate, St James's Hospital