Understanding challenges in the front lines of home health care: A human-systems approach

Jenay M. Beer, Sara E. McBride, Tracy L. Mitzner, Wendy A. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A human-systems perspective is a fruitful approach to understanding home health care because it emphasizes major individual components of the system - persons, equipment/technology, tasks, and environments - as well as the interaction between these components. The goal of this research was to apply a human-system perspective to consider the capabilities and limitations of the persons, in relation to the demands of the tasks and equipment/technology in home health care. Identification of challenges and mismatches between the person(s) capabilities and the demands of providing care provide guidance for human factors interventions. A qualitative study was conducted with 8 home health Certified Nursing Assistants and 8 home health Registered Nurses interviewed about challenges they encounter in their jobs. A systematic categorization of the challenges the care providers reported was conducted and human factors recommendations were proposed in response, to improve home health. The challenges inform a human-systems model of home health care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1687-1699
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Healthcare
  • Human factors
  • Human-systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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