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1 - 15 of 15
Gabler E. New York Times. 2020;Jan 31.
Pharmacists are instrumental to safe medication use in the ambulatory setting. This news story discusses factors in retail pharmacy environment that degrade pharmacists’ ability to safely practice, which include production pressure, required multitasking, and distraction. Strategies highlighted to mitigate the problem that have been inconsistently applied include scheduled breaks and staff supervision limits.
Joseph R; Harry E.
Multitasking can negatively affect cognitive load and diminish safety. This magazine article reports on how multitasking can contribute to surgeon fatigue, burnout, and decreased task completion in the perioperative environment. Checklists to automate workflow and limiting the number of patient charts that can be open at one time can help reduce extraneous cognitive load.
Quick Safety. October 1, 2018;(45):1-2.
This newsletter article reviews common problems related to patient identification and recommends strategies to ensure verification actions are a part of daily practice. Highlighted suggestions focus on system-level approaches that reduce the potential for incorrect patient data to be entered and proliferate, such as use of frontline confirmation processes and duplicate record monitoring. A WebM&M commentary discussed an incident involving a wrong-patient order in an electronic record system.
Anderson P, Townsend T. Am Nurse Today. May 2015;10:18-23.
High-alert medications have the potential to cause serious patient harm. This article focuses on four primary types of high-alert medications—anticoagulants, sedatives, insulins, and opioids—that can have serious adverse effects and recommends strategies to reduce risks, including conducting independent double-checks and decreasing interruptions.
Feil M. PA-PSRS Patient Saf Advis. June 2014;11:45-52.
Operating rooms are complex environments with particular risks regarding interruptions and distractions. This article draws from data reported to the Patient Safety Authority to explore how distractions affect surgeons and other team members. The author reviews strategies to limit distractions, including applying sterile cockpit principles, performing preoperative briefings, and utilizing checklists.
Eggertson L. The Canadian nurse. 2014;110:25-9.
Human factors engineering is being increasingly promoted as an approach that generates lasting safety improvements. This commentary describes how applying human factors principles can identify ways to reduce risks in health care settings, including issues related to interruptions and infusion pumps.
Feil M. PA-PSRS Patient Saf Advis. March 2013;10:1-10.
Analyzing data submitted to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System, this piece outlines the types of distractions that contribute to medical errors and recommends strategies to mitigate them. 
Richtel M.
Reporting on widespread use of mobile devices (such as iPads and smartphones) in health care, this newspaper article details how technological distractions may increase the risk of errors. A recent AHRQ WebM&M commentary, written by Harvard CIO John Halamka, discusses a case in which a physician, interrupted by a non–work-related text message on a smartphone, forgets to discontinue a dangerous medication.