Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
Intensive care units (ICUs) are one of the most challenging and complex environments in today’s health-care system. ICU nurses, who perform various tasks critical to ensuring the safety of patients under their care, are frequently interrupted throughout the workday, sometimes as often as 15 times per hour. The effects of single interruptions in various workplaces have been well documented, but new research published in Human Factors, “Effects of Nested Interruptions on Task Resumption: A Laboratory Study With Intensive Care Nurses,” examines how multilevel interruptions experienced by ICU nurses can affect their performance and, ultimately, patients’ well-being.
Farzan Sasangohar, an assistant professor of industrial and systems engineering at Texas A&M University, notes, “During observational studies in an ICU, we noticed nurses often having to switch tasks due to interruptions, and then being asked to perform additional tasks that were also interrupted while away from their original interrupted task, a phenomenon we refer to as ‘nested interruptions.’ Some of these tasks, including ones of high severity, were not resumed after the interruptions ended.”
To see the entire article click https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-03/hfae-par022817.php