Safety and Quality | National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare | MedStar Health

National Center For Human Factors In Healthcare

National Center For Human Factors In Healthcare


Focusing on increasing knowledge generation

Through applied research, usability, safety advisement, and education, the MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors is dedicated to the scientific study of how humans think, work, and interact within the healthcare environment.

The Center’s research is translated into clinical practice to improve workflow, efficiency, safety, and technology.

Human factors concepts and ideas have been adopted across many high-risk fields, including automotive, aviation, defense, and health care.

Located in Washington, D.C., the Center was founded in 2010 within the MedStar Institute for Innovation and moved to its new organizational home in the MedStar Health Research Institute in 2020.

Working in close collaboration with these teams and the MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety, the Center is the nation’s largest human factors program embedded within a healthcare delivery system.

What is human factors in healthcare?

Engaging experts across many areas of expertise, human factors in healthcare lives at the intersection of psychology and engineering. Focused on understanding the interaction of people and other elements in the healthcare environment, it applies psychological and physiological principles to the design of products, processes, and systems. This pragmatic and scientific approach improves safety, efficiency, quality, and reliability—while reducing costs.

Our work

Our work extends far beyond one single health system. With a focus on increasing knowledge generation and transfer, seeking innovative strategies, and providing valuable insights to inform change, we work with more than 100 organizations in the U.S. and around the world.

  • The Center’s core services include:

  • Research

  • Usability

  • Safety

  • Education and outreach

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Impact of our work: Case studies