Distractions in Operating Rooms




Distractions in Operating Rooms

Systematic investigation of positive interruptions in healthcare

The objectives of this project are to examine and differentiate between positive and negative interruptions in a healthcare environment. 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 patient’s 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. This approach to the study of interruptions is a novel one and will have implications for how interruptions are approached in healthcare settings.

Sponsor(s): NSERC (PGS D)



Systematic investigation of positive interruptions in healthcare

Refereed archival journal publications 

Ayas, S., Gordon, L., Donmez, B., & Grantcharov, T. (2020). The effect of intraoperative distractions on severe technical events in laparoscopic bariatric surgerySurgical Endoscopy.

Sasangohar, F., Donmez, B., Easty, A. C., & Trbovich, P. L. (2015). Mitigating non-urgent interruptions during high-severity ICU tasks using a task-severity awareness tool: a quasi-controlled observational study. Journal of Critical Care, 30(5), 1150.e1-1150.e6.

Sasangohar, F., Donmez, B., Easty, T., Storey, H., & Trbovich, P. (2014). Interruptions experienced by cardiovascular intensive care unit nurses: an observational study. Journal of Critical Care. 29(5), 848-853.

Conference proceedings and other non-journal articles (fully refereed)

Sasangohar, F., Donmez, B., Trbovich, P., & Easty, T. (2012). Not all interruptions are created equal: positive interruptions in healthcare. In Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 56th Annual Meeting, Boston, MA.

Theses and dissertations

Ayas, S. (2019). Understanding and mitigating the effects of operating room distractions (MASc Thesis). University of Toronto.

Sasangohar, F. (2015). Understanding and mitigating the interruptions experienced by intensive care unit nurses (PhD Dissertation). University of Toronto.