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Journal of Medical Imaging • Open Access • new

Quantifying the costs of interruption during diagnostic radiology interpretation using mobile eye-tracking glasses
Author(s): Trafton Drew; Lauren H. Williams; Booth Aldred; Marta E. Heilbrun; Satoshi Minoshima

Paper Abstract

What are the costs and consequences of interruptions during diagnostic radiology? The cognitive psychology literature suggests that interruptions lead to an array of negative consequences that could hurt patient outcomes and lead to lower patient throughput. Meanwhile, observational studies have both noted a strikingly high rate of interruptions and rising number of interruptions faced by radiologists. There is some observational evidence that more interruptions could lead to worse patient outcomes: Balint et al. (2014) found that the shifts with more telephone calls received in the reading room were associated with more discrepant calls. The purpose of the current study was to use an experimental manipulation to precisely quantify the costs of two different types of interruption: telephone interruption and an interpersonal interruption. We found that the first telephone interruption led to a significant increase in time spent on the case, but there was no effect on diagnostic accuracy. Eye-tracking revealed that interruptions strongly influenced where the radiologists looked: they tended to spend more time looking at dictation screens and less on medical images immediately after interruption. Our results demonstrate that while radiologists’ eye movements are reliably influenced by interruptions, the behavioral consequences were relatively mild, suggesting effective compensatory mechanisms.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 March 2018
PDF: 9 pages
J. Med. Imag. 5(3) 031406 doi: 10.1117/1.JMI.5.3.031406
Published in: Journal of Medical Imaging Volume 5, Issue 3
Show Author Affiliations
Trafton Drew, The Univ. of Utah (United States)
Lauren H. Williams, The Univ. of Utah (United States)
Booth Aldred, The Univ. of Utah (United States)
Austin Radiological Association (United States)
Marta E. Heilbrun, The Univ. of Utah (United States)
Emory Univ. Hospital (United States)
Satoshi Minoshima, The Univ. of Utah (United States)


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