Not All Interruptions are Created Equal: Positive Interruptions in Healthcare Conference Paper uri icon


  • Interruptions were studied extensively in the past but with a focus on their negative effects. Although many types of interruptions result in a break-in-task, in some cases interruptions communicate important information associated with patients safety. The majority of previous interruption research use a reductionist approach to minimize or prevent interruptions, and minimal attention has been given to the differentiation between positive and negative interruptions. Through the analysis of relevant healthcare literature, this paper first identifies the inconsistencies in the way interruptions are defined, and then categorizes potential sources of negative and positive interruptions.

published proceedings

  • Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting

author list (cited authors)

  • Sasangohar, F., Donmez, B., Trbovich, P., & Easty, A. C.

citation count

  • 35

complete list of authors

  • Sasangohar, Farzan||Donmez, Birsen||Trbovich, Patricia||Easty, Anthony C

publication date

  • September 2012