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Monteiro SD, Sherbino JD, Ilgen JS, et al. Acad Med. 2015;90:511-517.
This study used written medical cases to examine whether simulated time pressure or interruptions affect diagnostic accuracy among resident and attending emergency medicine physicians. While the experienced physicians answered the questions more quickly and accurately compared to resident physicians, diagnostic accuracy was not compromised by time pressure or interruptions for either group in this study.
Interrupted during a telephone handoff, an ED physician, despite limited information, must treat a patient in respiratory arrest. The patient is stabilized and transferred to the ICU with a presumed diagnosis of aspiration pneumonia and septic shock. Later, ICU physicians obtain further history that leads to the correct diagnosis: pulmonary embolism.
A woman comes to the ED with mental status changes. Although numerous tests are run and she is admitted, a critical test result fails to reach the medicine team in time to save the patient's life.