Decision-making under pressure: medical errors in uncertain and dynamic environments

Zavala, Alicia M., Day, Gary E., Plummer, David, and Bamford-Wade, Anita (2018) Decision-making under pressure: medical errors in uncertain and dynamic environments. Australian Health Review, 42 (4). pp. 395-402.

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Objective: This paper provides a narrative overview of the literature concerning clinical decision-making processes when staff come under pressure, particularly in uncertain, dynamic and emergency situations.

Methods: Studies between 1980 and 2015 were analysed using a six-phase thematic analysis framework to achieve an in-depth understanding of the complex origins of medical errors that occur when people and systems are under pressure and how work pressure affects clinical performance and patient outcomes. Literature searches were conducted using a Summons Search Service platform search criteria included a variety of methodologies, resulting in the identification of 95 papers relevant to the present review.

Results: Six themes emerged in the present narrative review using thematic analysis: organisational systems, workload, time pressure, teamwork, individual human factors and case complexity. This analysis highlights that clinical outcomes in emergency situations are the result of a variety of interconnecting factors. These factors may affect the ability of clinical staff in emergency situations to provide quality, safe care in a timely manner.

Conclusions: The challenge for researchers is to build the body of knowledge concerning the safe management of patients, particularly where clinicians are working under pressure. This understanding is important for developing pathways that optimise clinical decision making in uncertain and dynamic environments.

Item ID: 58552
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1449-8944
Keywords: emergency departments, patient safety
Funders: Secretary of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Education, Ecuador
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2019 01:21
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420309 Health management @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 1
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