The Human Factors Engineering Lab at Mayo Clinic is directed by Susan Hallbeck, Ph.D., PE, CPE. The human factors engineering research team collaborates with clinicians, scientists and patients to identify and solve critical health care issues. As part of the lab, the team uses scientific engineering methodology with provider and engineering partnerships to solve complex problems and improve quality of life for clinicians and patients.

One key area of study focuses on helping surgeons reduce physical injury from long operations that put a strain on muscles and joints. In addition, the team also examines ways to reduce the mental stress surgeons may experience from surgeries that require intense concentration.

Dr. Hallbeck's research team in the Human Factors Engineering Lab has expertise and research interests in human systems integration, human factors engineering, ergonomics and biomechanics. The team focuses on improving technologies and health care system efficiency within the physical and psychological limitations of clinicians, staff and patients.

The Human Factors Engineering Lab team's expertise includes:

  • Ergonomics. The multidisciplinary team studies physical and cognitive ergonomics and biomechanics to optimize task performance and staff well-being.
  • Work-system evaluation. Research team members identify suboptimal workflows and work environments and develop strategies to address these concerns.
  • Patient and provider safety. Investigations focus on designing and re-engineering health care delivery operations to optimize patient and provider safety.
  • Usability. Research team members design systems that support user needs and assess functionality and impact.
  • Teamwork. Research focuses on the performance of clinical teams to identify key characteristics and behaviors that support task performance, patient safety, and staff safety and well-being.


The Human Factors Engineering Lab is affiliated with these Mayo Clinic research programs: