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Separating Predictable and Unpredictable Work to Manage Interruptions and Promote Safe and Effective Work Flow

Kowinsky, Amy M. RD, LDN; Shovel, Judith MSN, RN; McLaughlin, Maribeth MPM, BSN; Vertacnik, Lisa MSN, RN; Greenhouse, Pamela K. MBA; Martin, Susan Christie MSN, RN; Minnier, Tamra E. MSN, RN, FACHE

doi: 10.1097/NCQ.0b013e3182385df1

Predictable and unpredictable patient care tasks compete for caregiver time and attention, making it difficult for patient care staff to reliably and consistently meet patient needs. We have piloted a redesigned care model that separates the work of patient care technicians based on task predictability and creates role specificity. This care model shows promise in improving the ability of staff to reliably complete tasks in a more consistent and timely manner.

Donald D. Wolff Jr. Center for Quality Improvement and Innovation, (Mss Kowinsky, Shovel, Martin, and Minnier), Magee-Women's Hospital (Mss McLaughlin and Vertacnik), UPMC, and Pamela Greenhouse Associates (Ms Greenhouse), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Correspondence: Pamela K. Greenhouse, MBA, Pamela Greenhouse Associates, 5622 Melvin St, Pittsburgh, PA 15217 (

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Published online before print: October 27, 2011.

Accepted September 20, 2011

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.