Table 1

Sources and definition of workflow interruptions in hospital doctors

CategoryWorkflow interruptionDefinition: significant disturbance due to …
Colleague interruptions1Interruptions by doctors… other doctors' actions (eg, colleague asking for patients charts).
2Interruptions by nursing staff… nursing staff's actions (including nursing trainees)
Telephone/bleeper3Interruptions by telephone/bleeper… telephone or bleeper call and subsequent responding
Interruption by others4Interruptions by patients… patients (eg, patient asks for information)
5Interruptions by patients' relatives… patients' relatives (eg, relatives stopping doctors in hospital corridors)
6Interruptions by others… any other person (ie, physical therapist, social worker)
7Interruptions due to equipment or technical malfunctions… equipment dysfunctions or technical malfunctions (ie, computer system crash; failure of blood gas analysis)
Impediments/delays8Information impediments… necessary work information unavailable (ie, patient's chart or diagnostic findings not available, forms not in stock etc)
9Waiting time… waiting time to continue current workflow (ie, waiting for elevator)
10Motor impediments… physical impediments (ie, noise, additional physical strengths in moving heavy patients)