Minimizing cognitive overload to support team member safety and wellbeing – Elizabeth Harry, MD


Episode 76 | Duration: 32:00

Elizabeth Harry, MD, SFHM, is the Senior Medical Director of Well-being for UCHealth and Assistant Dean of Faculty Well-being at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, where she oversees the development and implementation of programs and policies that support the well-being of physicians and advanced practice providers across the UCHealth system. In addition to practicing as a primary care physician, she works with a team of well-being champions and coordinators to promote a culture of wellness and resilience among the health system’s workforce. Dr. Harry has also completed the Life Coach School program and has published multiple articles on quality improvement, cognitive load, and burnout. Dr. Harry has extensive experience in hospitalist medicine, faculty development, quality improvement, and leadership. She is driven by the mission of advancing health and wellness for all.

In this episode, Dr. Harry talks about the principles of cognitive load theory and how they apply to the practice of medicine. She discusses individual, team, and system approaches to managing and minimizing cognitive load by removing extraneous load from processes and technologies. Dr. Harry also talks about the need to bring human factors engineering science and principles into healthcare so that leaders can work with the cognitive capacities of team members, and free up their finite resources for the most human-centered tasks and relationships. Finally, Dr. Harry shares insights into how leaders at every level can contribute to team member and patient safety by prioritizing an understanding of cognitive capacity and designing accordingly.

Elizabeth Harry MD