Human factors is a science that combines psychology and engineering to understand the interaction between humans and the systems in which they operate. Our team uses human factors methods to address the complexity of human behavior and create a safer, more effective healthcare system.

Guiding Philosophy

Systems perspective

Healthcare workers are trained to deliver the best possible care, but training is not the only factor at play. Their behaviors are also shaped by the broader context of the healthcare system in which they work. Understanding these factors and how they intersect leads to more effective solutions.

User centered

Healthcare workers and other key stakeholders are central to our approach. They are both the focus of our work and active collaborators in study design and implementation. Placing users at the center keeps our priorities on target and ensures that solutions will meet their needs.

Design-based improvement

We believe that the most effective way to change behavior is to re-design the systems that shape it. Improving equipment, processes, and environments creates a safer, more effective healthcare system that enables healthcare workers to perform at their best.

Our Work

Project Firstline

Strengthening infection prevention and control practices among nurses.

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed gaps in many areas of healthcare, but one acutely felt has been the systemic shortcomings of infection prevention and control (IPC) training…



Preventing MDRO transmission in skilled nursing facilities.

Over half (57%)1 of residents in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) are colonized with multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs). Contact between residents and healthcare personnel during resident care…

Elastomeric Respirators Project

Reusable Respirators

Assessing reusable elastomeric respirators in healthcare delivery.

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for disposable N95 respirators quickly exceeded the supply. Other respiratory protection devices, like reusable elastomeric respirators, can serve as…

Cloth Face Masks Study

Cloth Face Masks

Designing better cloth face masks for source control.

Despite the widespread use of face coverings spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been limited research to fully evaluate cloth masks for source control. In collaboration with Georgia State…

Our Approach

We seek to improve healthcare by combining innovative science with human factors evaluation and design.


Our team utilizes a unique combination of laboratory and field research methods to study complex healthcare scenarios in a structured setting. With this approach, we can develop a deep understanding of healthcare workers and the systems with which they interact safely and efficiently.


Evaluations can assess medical equipment or processes for usability, efficiency, user satisfaction, and safety. We conduct usability evaluations to help healthcare partners make evidence-based procurement decisions and develop recommendations for best practices.


Findings from research and evaluation are translated into potential solutions. These ideas are tested, revised, and refined in collaboration with users and other key stakeholders. The aim is to quickly identify and correct issues before building out a full solution.


Embedded within Emory University Hospital, we are uniquely positioned to rapidly implement solutions, be it a demonstration study or formal roll-out. In addition, we are developing training and fellowship programs for healthcare workers to teach them how to use human factors methods to solve everyday clinical problems.

Learn more about the science
that drives our work