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Beyond the clinical team: evaluating the human factors-oriented training of non-clinical professionals working in healthcare contexts

Lavelle, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-3951-0011, Reedy, G. B., Attoe, C. , Simpson, T. & Anderson, J. E. (2019). Beyond the clinical team: evaluating the human factors-oriented training of non-clinical professionals working in healthcare contexts. Advances in Simulation, 4, 11. doi: 10.1186/s41077-019-0101-1


Background: As clinical simulation has evolved, it is increasingly used to educate staff who work in healthcare contexts (e.g. hospital administrators) or frequently encounter clinical populations as part of their work (e.g. police officers) but are not healthcare professionals. This is in recognition of the important role such individuals play in the patients’ experience of healthcare, frequently being a patients’ first point of contact with health services. The aim of the training is to improve the ability of the team to communicate and co-ordinate their actions, but there is no validated instrument to evaluate the human factors learning of non-clinical staff. Our aim was to develop, pilot and evaluate an adapted version of the Human Factors Skills for Healthcare Instrument, for non-clinical professionals.

Method: The 18-item instrument was developed reflecting the human factors skills of situation awareness, decision making, communication, teamwork, leadership, care and compassion and stress and fatigue management. The instrument was piloted pre- and post-training with non-healthcare professionals (n = 188) attending mental health simulation training within an 11-month period (June 2017–April 2018). Trainees were hospital/primary care administrators (n = 53, 28%), police officers (n = 112, 59%), probation officers (n = 13, 7%) and social workers (n = 10, 5%). Most participants were female (n = 110, 59%) and from White ethnic backgrounds (n = 144, 77%).

Results: Six items were removed, five were not sufficiently sensitive to change (d < .3) and one showed poor reliability. The remaining 12 items revealed a Cronbach’s alpha of .93. An exploratory factor analysis revealed a one-factor solution, which explained 58.3% of the variance. The final 12-item instrument was sensitive to change post-training (p < .0001) with large effect sizes (d > .7). Cluster analysis revealed that participants with lower pre-training scores showed the greatest improvement.

Discussion: The Human Factors Skills for Healthcare Instrument-Auxiliary version (HuFSHI-A) provides a reliable and valid instrument for the evaluation of human factors skills learning following training of non-clinical populations working in healthcare contexts. Although this instrument has been developed and evaluated with training courses specifically focusing on mental health topics, HuFSHI-A is applicable for any training where teamwork and co-ordination between clinical and non-clinical professionals is considered.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s). 2019Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, andreproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link tothe Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
R Medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

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