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How IT Can Curb Staff Interruptions (Jan 2018)

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IT Leads the Charge to Curb Staff Interruptions 3 Strategies to Enhance Care Team Focus A "culture of interruption" has permeated hospitals for decades. But despite broad awareness of the issue, clinicians and caregivers are plagued by constant distractions as they go about their work. In fact, a report in the Journal of Informatics in Health and Biomedicine indicated that hospital doctors and nurses are interrupted up to 23 times per hour in emergency, intensive care, and surgery situations — which can directly affect decision- making and patient safety. Interruptions to nurses administering medications is associated with a 12% increase in procedural failure and a 13% increase in clinical error. 1 That means that controlling interruptions is not just mission critical — it is life critical. When you drill down into why medical errors, misdiagnoses, never events, and other adverse outcomes occur, you will almost certainly find communication breakdowns as a root cause. 1 In combating this problem, technology has a vital role to play, and CIOs and IT professionals work relentlessly to implement solutions that support uninterrupted clinical care through seamless communication. Most solutions, however, narrowly aim at discrete communication issues, such as secure texting, instead of offering a comprehensive solution. Taking a piecemeal approach inevitably results in an unwieldy stack of disparate platforms that offer anything but, well, a solution. The ideal platform, on the other hand, curbs disruptions by complementing clinical workflows and serving as a single mobile source of communication, collaboration, and context for care teams — without increasing IT's burden to manage on the back end. How CIOs Can Lead the Way Adopting a single workflow-driven communication platform allows CIOs to transform the interruption culture — while reducing errors, redundancies, and staff dissatisfaction. Creating a sustainable, comprehensive reduction in interruptions requires technology that supports the following three critical strategies.

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