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July 1992

Interrupted Care: The E ffects of Paging on Pediatric Resident Activities

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Pa.

Am J Dis Child. 1992;146(7):806-808. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1992.02160190038016

• Objective.  —To determine the content and urgency of pages and their effect on the activities of pediatric residents.

Design.  —Prospective survey.

Setting.  —University-affiliated teaching hospital.

Participants.  —Seventeen pediatric residents on regular pediatric services.

Interventions.  —None.

Measurements/Main Results.  —On daily logs, interns recorded the activity interrupted by a page and rated the urgency and importance of the page. Almost half of all pages interrupted patient care activities, and 24% interrupted scheduled work rounds or teaching conferences. Interns reported that 34% of pages resulted in a change in patient treatment, but they rated 25% of all pages as unimportant.

Conclusions.  —"Beepers" frequently interrupt pediatric residents involved in patient care activities and scheduled educational conferences. Studies of interventions aimed at decreasing unnecessary interruptions by pages are needed.(AJDC. 1992;146:806-808)

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