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Losing the Moment: Understanding Interruptions to Nurses' Work

McGillis Hall, Linda PhD, RN, FAAN; Pedersen, Cheryl MSc; Fairley, Laura BScN, RN

Journal of Nursing Administration: April 2010 - Volume 40 - Issue 4 - p 169-176
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0b013e3181d41162

Interruptions in the nursing work environment can have significant, detrimental effects on patient safety. This mixed-method study used work observation and focus groups to explore interruptions in nursing work. A large number of interruptions were reported. Causes of interruptions are analyzed, and systems processes for reducing these in the future are discussed.

Authors' Affiliation: Professor and Associate Dean of Research and External Relations, Senior Career Research Award, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (Dr McGillis Hall), Research Manager (Ms Pedersen), and Doctoral Student (Ms Fairley), Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Corresponding author: Dr McGillis Hall, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, 130-155 College St, Toronto, ON, Canada M5T 1P8 (

Funding: The Connaught Fund, University of Toronto and Toronto Academic Health Science Network.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.