Effects of interruptions in healthcare [article]

A recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association1 caught my eye. The article, A systematic review of the psychological literature on interruption and its patient safety implications, looks at various tasks and variables associated with interruptions in healthcare. The article is a meta-analysis, and we all know what that means, but it is interesting nonetheless. The authors of the article say that it’s a complex issue, but I think at the heart of the matter interruptions are simply bad. Our brains just don’t multi-task the way we’d like them to, and interruptions cause a break in concentration and therefore a break in our focus. I know it always takes me a few seconds to regain my thoughts when someone interrupts me. This is especially true when I’m performing a complex task. And wouldn’t you consider providing care to patients a complex task? I would.

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