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Medical errors are greatly considered to be one of the leading causes of death in the United States, with around 250,000 deaths occurring per year (Anderson & Abrahamson, 2017). Many studies have investigated the causes of these errors, and have found communication to be a major source. The present proposal is a two-study design first planned to investigate the effects of interruptions on the time taken to return to the Tower of London Task. This methodology has first been observed in Hodgetts and Jones (2006) who investigated this using undergraduate students as participants, and found a main effect of both duration and complexity of interruptions. This replication will use registered nurses to complete the London Tower Task while unexpected interruptions occur, attempting to see if these findings replicate. With those expectations, I go on to propose a follow-up study designed to test the effectiveness of an intervention to better handle such interruptions in the healthcare environment. The implementation of the I-PASS mnemonic has proven to be successful in minimizing healthcare errors by 23% in pediatric residency hospitals (Starmer et al., 2014). This proposal will not only replicate this methodology in other residency hospitals but the use of an I-PASS written template will be used to improve this methodology. The implementation of the I-PASS mnemonic and template will help to manage the intrinsic load of nurses during patient handoffs, by increasing their working memory capacity. This implementation will universalize patient handoffs within the healthcare system, and in turn, minimize the occurrence of health care errors and the death that come from it.
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Couture, Olivia J., "Errors in healthcare: A Proposed Study Investigating a Universal Methodology for Improving Patient Handoffs and Limiting Healthcare Errors" (2022). Senior Projects Spring 2022. 122.
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