Do Frequent Interruptions Impact Physicians? Patients?

Most organizations are acutely aware that clinicians spend increasingly more time at the computer with the evolution of electronic health records and other data capture databases. But, has your organization asked any of the following questions?

  • How much time do your clinicians spend on average using EMR or other databases?
  • What other interruptions do your clinicians receive each day? (e.g. text messages, emails, phone calls)
  • How much time is spent on other interruptions?
  • How does this impact the clinician’s overall day/patient care?
  • What plans are in place to identify workflow impacts and mitigate/streamline?

A recent HIMSS survey of both IT professionals and clinicians revealed the following:

  • 94% of clinical leaders agreed that interruptions contribute moderately or a great deal to difficulty focusing on patient care
  • Generally, respondents noted interruptions occurring an average of 7 times per hour
  • Very few organizations monitor/review interruption data
  • The majority of respondents are dissatisfied with their organization’s approach to identifying and mitigating interruptions
  • Over 80% of respondents said interruptions that disrupt patient care contribute to emotional stress and burnout among clinicians

As a healthcare management consulting firm focused on financial and performance improvement of our clients, we can attest to the above findings. We regularly receive feedback regarding the various avenues of interruption and the impact on overall workflow and productivity.  In response to this feedback, we developed DocEdge Communicator – a single, mobile platform for communication with clinicians.  Our tool allows clinicians to answer queries, referrals, approvals, etc. using their mobile phone, significantly reducing interruptions and time in front of the screen.  Want to learn more? Visit our website at or

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