Human Errors and Human Factors in Service Delivery Processes: A Literature Review and Future Works

서비스 분야에서 인간공학과 인적오류 연구

  • Hong, Seung-Kweon (Department of Industrial & Management Engineering, Chungju National University)
  • 홍승권 (충주대학교 산업경영공학과)
  • Received : 2011.01.17
  • Accepted : 2011.02.09
  • Published : 2011.02.28


The aim of this study is to review previous studies on human errors in the service delivery processes. Service industry is sharply growing in the advanced countries. Many people are looking for something to contribute to the service industry. Although there are many research topics related to service domain that human factors and ergonomics specialists can do contribute, a few researchers are studying such topics. This paper indicated how previous researches on human factors and human errors have addressed the service domain, in order to prompt human factor study on the service domain. A variety of sources were inspected for literature reviews, including books and journals of managements, medicine, psychology, consumer behavior as well as human factor and ergonomics. The characteristics of human errors in the service domain were investigated. Human error studies in several service sectors were summarized such as medical service, automotive service operation, travel agent service and call center service. Until now, human factors community was not much interested in human errors in service domain. However, there is much space to contribute to service domain; human error identification, human error analysis and control of human error. The research of human error in service domain can provide clues to improve service quality. This paper helps to guide to identify human error of service domain and to design service systems.


  1. Awad, S., Fagan, S., Bellows, C., Albo, D., Green-Rashad, B. & De La Garza, M., Bridging the communication gap in the operating room with medical team training. The American Journal of Surgery, 190(5), 770-774, 2005.
  2. Barber, N., Should we consider non-compliance a medical error? Quality and Safety in Health Care, 11(1), 81, 2002.
  3. Buetow, S. & Elwyn, G., Patient safety and patient error. In B. Hurwitz & A. Shikh(Eds.), Health Care Errors and Pateint Safety(pp. 48-55): Wiley-Blackwell, BMJI Book. 2009.
  4. Chase, R. & Stewart, D., Make your service fail-safe. Sloan Management Review, 35, 35-35, 1994.
  5. Chen, A. C., Human Error Analysis for Customer Service Quality: Ergonomic Approach toward Service Quality Improvement. Ph. D. Dissertation., State University of New York at Buffalo. 2000.
  6. Drury, C., Service, quality and human factors. AI & Society, 17(2), 78-96, 2003.
  7. Gawron, V., Drury, C., Fairbanks, R. & Berger, R., Medical error and human factors engineering: where are we now? American Journal of Medical Quality, 21(1), 57, 2006.
  8. Hollnagel, E., Cognitive Reliability Assessment Methodology: Academic Press London. 1996.
  9. Kohn, L. T., Corrigan, J. M. & Donaldson, S. M., To err is human:Building a safer health care system: Washington, DC: National Academy Press. 2000.
  10. Leape, L. Error in medicine. Journal of the American Medical Association, 272, 1851-1857. 1994.
  11. Leape, L., A systems analysis approach to medical error. Journal of evaluation in clinical practice, 3(3), 213-222, 1997.
  12. Lee, D. H. & Choi, K. H., An Empirical Study on the Efficient Hospital Service Operation Management for the Reduction of Medical Errors. The Korean Journal of Quality Management, 38(4), 491-503, 2010.
  13. Makeham, M. A. B., Dovey, S. M., County, M. & Kidd, M. R., An international taxonomy for errors in general practice: Apilot study. Medical Journal of Austrailia 177, 68-72, 2002.
  14. Markley, J. & Winbery, S., Communicating With Physicians: How Agencies Can Be Heard. Home Health Care Management Practice, 20(2), 161-168, 2008.
  15. Marquardt, N., Robelski, S. & Hoeger, R., Crew Resource Management Training Within the Automotive Industry: Does It Work? Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 52(2), 308-315, 2010.
  16. O'Connor, P. & Cohn, J., The US Navy's crew resource management program: the past, present and recommendations for the future. In P. O'Connor, R. Hahn & E. Salas(Eds.), Human Performance Enhancement in High-Risk Environments: Insights, Developments, and Future Directions from Military Research(pp. 90-104): Greenwood Publishing Group. 2009.
  17. Park, W. H., The anlaysis of human error for improving customer counseling service quality. The Korean Journal of Quality Management, 34(4), 78-140, 2006.
  18. Reader, T., Flin, R. & Cuthbertson, B., Communication skills and error in the intensive care unit. Current Opinion in Critical Care, 13(6), 732, 2007.
  19. Reason, J., Generic Error-Modelling System(GEMS): A Cognitive Framework for Locating Common Human Error Forms. In J. R. K. D. J. Leplat (Ed.), New technology and human error(pp. 63-83): John Wiley & Sons. 1987.
  20. Roh, H. R., Lee, K.-U., Lee, Y.-S., Kim, O.-J., Kim, S.-W. & Choi, J.-W., Effect of Patient Safety Education in Surgical Clerkship to Develop Competencies for Managing and Preventing Medical Errors. Korean Journal of Medical Education, 8(8), 111-122, 2010.
  21. Roh, H. R., Soel, H. J., Kang, S. S., Suh, I. B. & Ryu, S. M., Using Medical Error Cases for Patient Safety Education. Korean Journal of Medical Education, 20(3), 265-271, 2008.
  22. Salas, E., Cooke, N. & Rosen, M., On teams, teamwork, and team performance: Discoveries and developments. Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 50(3), 540-547, 2008.
  23. Shorrock, S. T. & Kirwan, B., Development and application of a human error identification tool for air traffic control. Applied Ergonomics, 33, 319-336, 2002.
  24. Stewart, D. M. & Chase, R. B., The impact of human error on delivering service quality. Production and Operations Management, 8(3), 240-263, 1999.
  25. Velji, K., Baker, G. R., Fancott, C., Andreoli, A., Boaro, N. & Tardif, G., Effectiveness of an adapted SBAR communication tool for rehabilitation setting. Healthcare Quarterly, 11, 72-79, 2008.
  26. Wilson, J., Interactions as the focus for human centered systems. Paper presented at the International Conference on TQM and Human Factors - Towards Successful Integration. 1999.
  27. Wilson, K., Salas, E., Priest, H., & Andrews, D. Errors in the heat of battle: Taking a closer look at shared cognition breakdowns through teamwork. Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 49(2), 243-256, 2007.
  28. Zhang, J., Patel, V. & Johnson, T., Medical Error: Is the Solution Medical or Cognitive? Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 9(Suppl 6), S75, 2002.