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The effects of clinical task interruptions on subsequent performance of a medication pre-administration task

Williams, Craig; Morgan, Phillip L.; Christopher, Gary; Zook, Nancy; Hoskins, Rebbeca


Phillip L. Morgan

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Gary Christopher
Occasional Associate Lecturer - CHSS - AHP

Nancy Zook
Associate Professor in Psychology

Rebbeca Hoskins


There is a surge of research exploring the role of task interruptions in the manifestation of primary task errors both in controlled experimental settings, and safety critical workplaces such as healthcare. Despite such research providing valuable insights into the disruptive properties of task interruption, and, the importance of considering the likely disruptive consequences of clinical task
interruptions in healthcare environments, there is an urgent need for an approach that best mimics complex working environments such as healthcare, whilst allowing better control over experimental variables with minimal constraints. We propose that this can be achieved with ecologically sensitive experimental tasks designed to have high levels of experimental control so that theoretical as
well as practical parameters and factors can be tested. We developed a theoretically and ecologically informed procedural memory-based task - the CAMROSE Medication Pre-Administration Task. Results revealed significantly more sequence errors were made on low, moderate and high complex conditions compared to no interruption condition. There was no significant difference in non-sequence errors. Findings reveal the importance of developing ecologically valid tasks to explore non-observable characteristics of clinical task interruptions. Both theoretical and possible practical implications are discussed.


Williams, C., Morgan, P. L., Christopher, G., Zook, N., & Hoskins, R. (2020). The effects of clinical task interruptions on subsequent performance of a medication pre-administration task.

Conference Name AHFE 2019 International Conferences on Usability & User Experience, and Human Factors and Assistive Technology
Conference Location Washington D.C., USA
Start Date Jul 24, 2019
End Date Jul 28, 2019
Acceptance Date Jun 13, 2019
Online Publication Date Jun 13, 2019
Publication Date Jan 1, 2020
Deposit Date Nov 1, 2019
Journal Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing; Advances in Usability and User Experience
Print ISSN 2194-5357
Electronic ISSN 2194-5365
Publisher Springer
Volume 972
Pages 81-92
Series Title Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing
Series ISSN 2194-5357
ISBN 9783030191344
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information First Online: 13 June 2019; Conference Acronym: AHFE; Conference Name: International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics; Conference City: Washington D.C., DC; Conference Country: USA; Conference Year: 2019; Conference Start Date: 24 July 2019; Conference End Date: 28 July 2019; Conference Number: 10; Conference ID: ahfe2019; Conference URL: