Saving lives through design - World Patient Safety Day 2019 


“To save lives, we need to design work systems, not just flashy products”, says Dominic Furniss, PhD - CIEHF Pharmaceuticals and Patient Safety Champion, this World Patient Safety - 17th September 2019.

Driving vital transformation in future medical device development, Dominic is imploring industry to adopt human-centred design principles from the outset.

Commenting on our ever digitalised world, he said: "Medical devices are becoming increasingly interconnected and complex, driven by a wealth of factors. From our ageing population, and an evolving appetite and need to monitor health conditions in home and care settings, to interconnected and ‘smart’ devices in hospital. There is huge potential for these technologies, but also sometimes a disconnect between innovations being pumped into healthcare and the true usability required for clinicians to operate them in context.”

“Whilst essential tools for modern healthcare deliver, significant issues often arise if medical devices are designed for ‘work as imagined’ as opposed to ‘work as done’. The ways devices are designed and used ultimately affect patient safety and quality of care; inappropriate design can provoke user error, create system vulnerabilities and divert attention from other aspects of patient care.”

“Transformation for device design, and most importantly, patient safety, is rooted in designing for people. It is vital that human factors / usability specialists with the expertise to assess how a product will be used are brought into the mix" he added.

Led by the World Health Organization, World Patient Safety Day is observed annually on 17th September. 

To organise an interview, or discuss speaker opportunities with Dominic, please contact CIEHF Communications Manager Lou Boulden on: