Human factors is “the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance” (IEA, 2018).

In HFSS, we focus on the analysis, modeling and improvement of complex sociotechnical systems (systems that consist of people and technology in environments and organizations). Our research is conducted primarily in health care, and we focus on understanding and improving care transitions, the patient journey and system factors that influence patient safety. These things all involve groups of people (clinicians, other healthcare professionals, patients and their family/caregivers) working together – a team. Therefore, we also try to understand the cognitive activities of those teams (i.e., team cognition) and how to design systems and technology to support them.

Our mission is to create, integrate and transfer knowledge to improve performance, human well-being and quality in complex sociotechnical systems, such as those found in healthcare, industrial, service, government, educational, social and other organizations, to train the next generation of human factors engineers, and to foster inter-disciplinary collaborations.