Understanding Fatigue in Healthcare
Over the last 10 years there has been an increase in awareness of the potential effects of fatigue on both healthcare workers and patients. This has started to be addressed through the Working Time Regulations being applied to junior doctors, reducing the maximum hours worked per week on average. However, reducing average hours only solves part of the problem and there is a need for a more systematic approach to dealing with fatigue. In this project, we are exploring the issue of fatigue in a healthcare context, looking at the ways workplace design and digital interventions can promote individual, team and organisational behaviours that enable staff in hospitals and surgeries to reduce tiredness and fatigue and encourage more positive work cultures. We have thus far conducted interviews and workshops with doctors, nurses and surgeons to map and explore their experiences and critical incidents around fatigue. Going forwards we are taking a systems approach to the problem, combined with designing sensor-based technologies for individuals and groups that enable tracking, self-understanding and organisational awareness around fatigue.