AAEM Position Statement on Interruptions in the Emergency Department

The American Academy of Emergency Medicine is concerned with the increased frequency of interruptions occurring during clinical care in the emergency department; especially during high-risk times.

Interruptions are a major patient safety issue which may lead to adverse clinical outcomes. Interruptions during patient sign out, consultations, resuscitations, charting, and order entry should be minimized. While interruptions for emergency physicians are often necessary, the marked increase may also lead to physician frustration and burnout.

Therefore, in the interest of patient care and well-being of clinical care teams, the Academy encourages all emergency departments to discuss targeted interventions aimed at reducing unnecessary interruptions with key stakeholders.

The Academy believes that by working on mitigating the timing and frequency of unnecessary interruptions, there will be marked improvement in work productivity, delivery of safe patient care, and overall well-being of clinical care teams in this dynamic work environment.

Approved: 4/19/2020