City Research Online

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


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.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2017. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Publisher Keywords: Interruptions, Social network analysis, Sociotechnical systems
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of McCurdieSandersonAitken_SNA_Interruptions-Applied Erognomics-AcceptedManuscript.pdf]
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (872kB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login