Overview of human factors and ergonomics in the OR, with an emphasis on minimally invasive surgeries

Bethany R. Lowndes, M. Susan Hallbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Operating rooms (OR) are where medical teams work to improve the health of a patient. However, because of the complexity of the procedures, errors and unsafe situations are likely to occur. These complications can lead to harm to the patient or medical professionals. Human factors and ergonomic professionals have been working to improve these unsafe conditions in the OR for over a century. However, with advances in technology, increased surgical complexity, as well as an increase in medical team members in the OR, there are still numerous improvements yet to be accomplished. Minimally invasive surgeries require an even more advanced approach to prevent errors due to technology, fatigue, and miscommunication. Human factors and ergonomic techniques provide the ability to greatly improve conditions for patients and surgeons alike. It is imperative that human factors and ergonomics continue to grow and facilitate technological advancements in healthcare.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)308-317
Number of pages10
JournalHuman Factors and Ergonomics In Manufacturing
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014


  • Errors
  • Human factors and ergonomics
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Operating room
  • Sociotechnical systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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