Application of industry quality and safety standards and practice in the hospital sector - ON-091

Preferred Disciplines: Human Factors, Industrial Engineering, Safety sciences. Masters or Post Doc
Company: CSA Group
Project Length: 12-18 months
Desired start date: As soon as possible
Location: Toronto, Ontario
No. of Positions: 1
Preferences: University of Toronto, York University, Ryerson, Waterloo. English Language

About the Company: 

Over 97 years, CSA Group has built an enviable record of standards leadership in Canada and internationally. The Mission of CSA Group is to represent the interests of its members in creating a better, safer, more sustainable world – primarily through standards development, technical research, and training in relevant fields. From testing & certifying your products today for safety & performance requirements, to developing leading-edge, consensus-based standards to support tomorrow’s technology, we develop solutions that strive to promote safety to industry and society.

Project Description:

A comprehensive review will be conducted to uncover relevant quality and process control standards used successfully in other safety critical industries. In addition, research will be conducted to identify hospital processes that could be better supported through increased control and standardization. 

Research Objectives:

  • Review of safety standards

A comprehensive review of existing safety standards for safety critical industries will be conducted to identify how the management of risk, quality, and process controls is regulated and implemented. A thematic analysis will be conducted to understand common components and characteristics of each standard as well as those aspects specific to different industries.

  • Examine safety standards applications

Interviews with stakeholders from safety critical industries will be conducted to understand which standards are implemented, regulated, what the implementation challenges are, and what aspects of the standards are most useful/critical. The interviews will include representatives from both regulatory bodies and industry. The interviews will further inform the insights gained through the “Review of safety standards.”

  • Examine existing healthcare safety standards ecosystems

A review of existing safety, risk and quality management standards for healthcare domains that are known to have adopted such standards (such as radiation therapy and medical laboratories) will be conducted to identify similarities and differences with the knowledge gained about other safety critical industries. Interviews with healthcare stakeholders, including regulatory and hospital representatives, will aim to identify: 1) challenges and benefits of the standards currently used in these healthcare ecosystems, 2) opportunities for knowledge translation of these standards to other healthcare domains, 3) opportunities to enhance the safety and quality in the said ecosystems with new safety standards informed by the experience of other safety critical industries.

  • Review major healthcare practice areas in need of standards

Attributes of common hospital processes in major healthcare practice areas (e.g. emergency departments, general internal medicine departments, etc.) will be identified that would benefit from standardization. The specific types of hospital processes will be mapped to characteristics and aspects of existing safety standards from other industries or healthcare domains. Based on the above analysis, an inventory of quality and process control standard components will be abstracted and customized for various hospital processes.

  • Develop recommendations  for new safety standards 

The recommendations mapping safety standards to hospital processes will be validated for completeness and appropriateness through focus groups with healthcare practice area stakeholders/experts. Policy implications will be identified as well.


  • Literature and state of the art review
  • Thematic analysis
  • Stakeholder interviews
  • Stakeholder workshops and focus groups

Expertise and Skills Needed:

    • Human Factors or Industrial Engineering background with an interest in safety would be preferred
    • Ability to plan and conduct academic level research is required
    • Excellent communication skills in conducting effective stakeholder interviews and workshops


    For more info or to apply to this applied research position, please

    1. Check your eligibility and find more information about open projects.
    2. Interested students need to get the approval from their supervisor and send the following information to Dr. Svetlena Taneva at Svetlena.Taneva(a) : contact name, email address, CV, coverletter.