Two sides to every story: The Dual Perspectives Method for examining interruptions in healthcare
Embargoed until: 2019-01-01
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Interruptions are widely considered a problem in healthcare. Results from observation and experimental studies have guided extensive mitigation efforts, but the effectiveness of interventions remains mixed. We have built on current theories and methods for studying interruptions to develop a novel observational approach – the Dual Perspectives Method – for examining interruptions from the perspectives of the different work functions in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU). We detail the method and provide representative examples of the insights it offers, such as why interruptions happen, the role they play, and the consequences of preserving them or eliminating them. We anticipate that the Dual Perspectives Method will help us to arrive at a better basis on which to draw conclusions about interruptions, and will lead to the development of appropriate and sustainable interventions to ensure the effective and safe functioning of the work system under examination.
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