A new study investigates the impact of interruptions in the emergency room. Here are the disturbing results
Interruptions in the emergency room can impact work flow and those interruptions are most likely to occur during two key events-EHR documentation and direct patient care, according to a new study.
The study published online March 9, 2018, in the International Journal of Computer-Human Interaction, provided the detailed quantitative analysis of how small interruptions, such as phone calls, colleagues, residents, doctors, or patients’ family members, influence ER nurses’ mental workload, as they are expected to take blood, start IVs, administer medications, and assess patients, among other things.
Jung Hyup Kim is an assistant professor in the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering at the University of Missouri, and colleagues conducted a time study to collect ER nurses’ behaviors related to clinical activities at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
“After a time study in the ER at the Mayo Clinic and a hierarchical task analysis were conducted, the models for both non-interruption and interruption case were developed,” says Kim.
The result showed that the nurses’ mental workload was 2.04 times higher during patient care activities and 4.72 times higher during EHR charting in the interruption scenario, the authors wrote.
In this study, Kim and his colleagues offered three tips to help nurses better cope with interruptions:
The findings of this study will contribute to developing a new way to measure nursing mental workload caused by the interruptions, according to the researchers.