This study focuses on interruptions in an inpatient pharmacy setting and the impact of CPOE implementation on the types, frequency, and duration of interruptions. A cross-sectional observation study of pharmacy employees in an inpatient pharmacy was conducted. The independent variables included day of week, time of day, job position of the person interrupted, and description of each interruption. A total of 552 interruptions were observed with a mean frequency of 10.6 interruptions per hour lasting a mean (SD) duration of 1.34 (1.43) minutes. Incoming calls were the most frequent interruption type across all phases. Pharmacy employees spend almost a quarter of their time on interruptions, and pharmacists have longer interruptions than technicians. Immediately after CPOE implementation, durations tend to be one-and-a-half times longer than before. CPOE implementation did not affect the frequency of interruptions. Recommendations included redesign of work processes and job responsibilities.

Learning Objective: Understand how technology implementation impacts interruptions in an inpatient pharmacy.
Understand how CPOE implementation affects, types of interruptions, frequency of interruptions, and duration of interruptions.


Kalyan Pasupathy (Presenter)
Mayo Clinic

Linsey Steege, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Chris Cho, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Presentation Materials: