Mcmullan RD, Urwin R, Gates PJ, et al. Int J Qual Health Care. 2021;33:mzab068.
Distractions in the operating room are common and can lead to errors. This systematic review including 27 studies found that distractions, interruptions, and disruptions in the operating room are associated with a range of negative outcomes. These include longer operative duration, impaired team performance, self-reported errors by colleagues, surgical errors, surgical site infections, and fewer patient safety checks.
Gui JL, Nemergut EC, Forkin KT. J Clin Anesth. 2020;68:110110.
Distractions and interruptions are common in health care delivery. This literature review discusses the range of operating room distractions (from common events such as “small talk” to more intense distractions such as unavailable equipment) that can affect anesthesia practice, and their likely impact on patient safety.
Demaria J, Valent F, Danielis M, et al. J Nurs Care Qual. 2021;36:202-209.
Little empirical evidence exists assessing the association of different nursing handoff styles with patient outcomes. This retrospective study examined the incidence of falls during nursing handovers performed in designated rooms away from patients (to ensure confidentiality and prevent interruptions and distractions). No differences in the incidence of falls or fall severity during handovers performed away from patients versus non-handover times were identified.
Deacon A, O’Neill T, Delaloye N, et al. Hosp Pediatr. 2020;10:758-766.
This qualitative study used a resuscitation simulation to explore the effect of family presence during resuscitation on team performance. Thematic analyses identified five key factors that are influenced by the presence of a parent during resuscitation – resuscitation environment, affective responses, cognitive responses, behavioral responses, and team dynamics.
Freeling M, Rainbow JG, Chamberlain D. Int J Nurs Stud. 2020;109:103659.
This literature analysis assessed the evidence on the impact presenteeism in the nursing workforce and found that presenteeism is associated with risk to nurse well-being and patient safety, but that additional research exploring the relationship between presenteeism, job satisfaction, and quality of care is needed.
Koch A, Burns J, Catchpole K, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2020;29:1033-1045.
This systematic review evaluated the relationships between intraoperative flow disruptions (eg, interruptions, equipment malfunctions, unexpected patient conditions) and provider, surgical process, and patient outcomes. On average, 20.5% of operating time was attributed to flow disruptions and these disruptions were either negatively or not substantially associated with surgical outcomes. The authors observed substantial heterogeneity of the evidence base and provided recommendations for future research on the effects of flow disruptions in surgery.
Unprofessional behaviors negatively impact teams and can undermine patient safety. This systematic review examined the influence of bullying on nursing errors across multiple healthcare settings. Fourteen articles were included in the review and four themes were identified: the influence of work environment; individual-level connections between bullying and errors; barriers to teamwork, and; communication impairment. While nurses perceive that bullying influences errors and patient outcomes, the mechanisms are unclear and more research is necessary to determined how bullying impacts nursing practice error.
Interruptions are prevalent in health care delivery settings. This review discusses epidemiology, quality improvement, cognitive systems engineering, and applied cognitive psychology as prominent research traditions examining interruptions in health care. The authors suggest that a more integrated approach that combines perspectives from these research traditions could enhance design of interventions to reduce interruptions.
Exploring the existing evidence on interruptions in health care, this commentary reveals that most studies focus on the rate of interruptions rather than the relationship between interruptions and errors. The author calls for research to evaluate how use of multitasking behaviors to manage interruptions and to differentiate between appropriate interruptions that prevent errors and those that contribute to preventable harm.
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