Forthcoming Special Issues

17 August 2022

Advancing Healthcare Equity through Human Factors Engineering

Widespread racial/ethnic health disparities represent one of the most challenging issues healthcare systems are facing in the US and across the globe. Decades of research have generated and synthesized a wealth of knowledge about the extent, scope, and pervasiveness of health disparities in the US. The Institute of Medicine’s Unequal Treatment report identified over 175 studies documenting disparities in the diagnosis and treatment of a range of illnesses and use of health services for people of color. Health disparities result in an estimated $93 billion in excess medical expenditures and $42 billion in lost productivity in the US. Racial/ethnic disparities have also been identified in the UK, Netherlands, Australia, and Canada. Despite extensive research, little progress has been made in alleviating these disparities and disparities have even increased for outcomes such as maternal mortality. Alleviating health disparities requires a multidisciplinary approach that examines the complex and multilevel factors that influence health, access to care, and the quality of care delivered by our healthcare system. The aim of this special issue is to collect recent human factors research examining clinical systems, structures and processes of care, healthcare technologies and other factors that contribute to racial/ethnic disparities in health outcomes. We encourage original submissions which describe theoretical, methodological, practical applications in the area of consideration.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Theories and models for advancing health equity and health equity research​
  • Methods for identifying and monitoring inequities in care and disparities in outcomes including strategies for collecting accurate race/ethnicity and other demographic data, linking processes, and statistical analyses
  • Health equity focused quality improvement initiatives and integration of equity considerations in patient safety processes
  • De-biasing approaches for algorithms used in clinical decision support tools and retirement/replacement of biased CDS currently in practice
  • Best practices and guidance for diversifying participant population in clinical trials and usability studies for health technology and biomedical devices

Guest editors:

Dr. Myrtede Alfred, PhD
University of Toronto, Canada

Dr. Enid Montague, PhD
University of Toronto, Canada

Dr. Kristin Tully, PhD
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, United States of America

Manuscript submission information:

Manuscript submission open date: 1 September 2022
Manuscript submission deadline: 16 December 2022

You are invited to submit your manuscript at any time before the submission deadline. For any inquiries about the appropriateness of contribution topics, please contact Dr. Myrtede Alfred via [email protected].

Please refer to the Guide for Authors to prepare your manuscript, and select the article type of “VSI: Adv. Healthcare Equity” when submitting your manuscript online at the journal’s submission platform (Editorial Manager®). Both the Guide for Authors and the submission portal could be found on the Journal Homepage here:

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