Data presented at the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society meeting revealed complex concurrent memorization tasks, such as listening to verbal updates while simultaneously remembering information from other patients, negatively affected diagnostic performance among physicians, but simple concurrent tasks did not. "When a physician is actively focusing on a time-critical diagnostic decision, other necessary information -- such as warnings, reminders, or situation updates -- should be delivered through simple or intuitive channels as much as possible to minimize potential interference," said researcher Shi Cao.
Certain types of multitasking may affect docs' diagnostic skills
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