Skip main navigation

Human Factors: Decision-Making

This video looks at the complex area of decision-making and the various models which can be used.

Having watched the video, our question is this: in a patient transfer situation, what do you base your decisions on? Not an easy question to answer in a few words, but it will be fascinating to see what we share using a word cloud:

  1. Open the word cloud in a new window by right clicking on The Decision-Making Word Cloud. Write your answer and submit it, and then just close the window to return to the course.
  2. Now you can view the results!
  • One very clear parallel between aviation and healthcare is that the equipment we use and the environment we operate in are becoming increasingly complex over time. This means that the information we base decisions on comes from an increasing number of sources. How we prioritise these sources and make good decisions based on them has been the subject of much study and training in aviation.
  • As mentioned in the video, the key is structure. Unless it is an extremely time-pressured situation that requires immediate action, an instinctive, solo decision is unlikely to be the best one.
Multiple inputs from the team will not only give a broader range of ideas but will also provide a wider safety net of sense-checking that decision.
  • A highly effective method of gathering the information and using the team in the decision-making process is to base the discussion on a structure. Many are available for use in different types of scenario, but there are a few common ones such as BRAN, TDODAR, or FORDEC . There are links to further information about these models below.

Questions For Comments

  • How easy do you find it to make decisions during a patient transfer?
  • What are the potential barriers to making good decisions?
  • What techniques can you use to avoid rushing into a decision?
  • Equally, how can you prevent one of the models described becoming a laborious and time-consuming process?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below and for further reading – including aviation case studies and WingFactors top tips – please click on the SHELL model downloads link (below) before moving on.

This article is from the free online

A Journey Through Transfer Medicine

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now