Applying social network analysis to the examination of interruptions in healthcare

McCurdie, T., Sanderson, P. & Aitken, L. M. (2017). Applying social network analysis to the examination of interruptions in healthcare. Applied Ergonomics, 67, pp. 50-60. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2017.08.014

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Examinations of interruptions in healthcare often focus on a single clinical discipline, and solutions are targeted accordingly. This approach does not take into account the inter-disciplinary dependencies and other sociotechnical aspects that make up the healthcare work system, and suggested solutions may not meet the needs of all stakeholders. In this article a sociotechnical systems perspective is used to uncover the interdependencies between 16 unique work roles that result in interruptions in an intensive care unit (ICU). By applying social network analysis techniques to data collected using the Dual Perspectives Method, we identified targeted systems-based interventions that may reduce unnecessary interruptions while avoiding unintended consequences that impose additional burden on ICU staff. The rich insights gained into the interruptive communication patterns in the ICU work system stand in contrast to findings that would have otherwise been obtained by focusing only on a single clinical discipline or a single perspective.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2017. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Uncontrolled Keywords: Interruptions, Social network analysis, Sociotechnical systems
Divisions: School of Health Sciences > Department of Adult Nursing

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