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Two sides to every story: The Dual Perspectives Method for examining interruptions in healthcare

McCurdie, T., Sanderson, P., Aitken, L. M. & Liu, D. (2017). Two sides to every story: The Dual Perspectives Method for examining interruptions in healthcare. Applied Ergonomics: human factors in technology and society, 58, pp. 102-109. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2016.05.012


Interruptions are widely considered a problem in healthcare. Results from observation and experimental studies have guided extensive mitigation efforts, but the effectiveness of interventions remains mixed. We have built on current theories and methods for studying interruptions to develop a novel observational approach – the Dual Perspectives Method – for examining interruptions from the perspectives of the different work functions in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU). We detail the method and provide representative examples of the insights it offers, such as why interruptions happen, the role they play, and the consequences of preserving them or eliminating them. We anticipate that the Dual Perspectives Method will help us to arrive at a better basis on which to draw conclusions about interruptions, and will lead to the development of appropriate and sustainable interventions to ensure the effective and safe functioning of the work system under examination.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2017, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Publisher Keywords: Interruptions; Healthcare; Sociotechnical systems
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License : See the attached licence file.

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Text (Creative Commons Licence CC BY NC ND 4.0) - Draft Version
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