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Fields of promoted actions for facilitating multitasking activity during a medical emergency
  1. Thierry Morineau1,
  2. Pascal Chapelain2,
  3. Marion Le Courtois3,
  4. Jean-Marc Le Gac4
  1. 1Université Bretagne Sud Centre de Recherches en Psychologie Cognition et Communication Campus de Tohannic, Vannes, France
  2. 2Registered Nursing Anaesthetist Coordination of the Centre de Simulation en Santé du Scorff Centre Hospitalier Bretagne Sud, Centre de Simulation en Santé du Scorff (C3S), Lorient, France
  3. 3Master Student Université Rennes II Centre de Recherches en Psychologie, Cognition, Communication (CRPCC), Vannes, France
  4. 4M.D. Emergency Doctor Etablissement Publique en Santé Mentale Charcot, Caudan, France
  1. Correspondence to Professor Thierry Morineau, Department of Cognitive Psychology and Ergonomics, Université Bretagne Sud, Centre de Recherches en Psychologie Cognition et Communication, Campus de Tohannic, Vannes F56000, France; thierry.morineau{at}


Background An adverse clinical event requires emergency team coordination and multitasking activity. Based on studies in ecological psychology, we propose that a structured ambient environment can implicitly facilitate these requirements.

Method We designed a new configuration of work in which spatial zones were specified as fields of promoted actions for doctors, nurses and nursing auxiliaries. 6 emergency teams were confronted with scenarios in a simulation setting, either with a traditional configuration of work or with the new configuration.

Results Significantly, each kind of caregiver respected the delimited spatial zones: 91.5% of occupation time for doctors, 97.1% for nurses and 95.3% for nursing auxiliaries. The mean durations of occupation of a same zone by the nursing auxiliaries and another caregiver decreased significantly, thus reducing the likelihood of mutual disturbance. Readiness for multitasking activity measured before and after experiencing the work configuration increased significantly among caregivers. An ergonomic evaluation scale showed a high level of satisfaction among caregivers (68.5 points out of 100). Participants also indicated the advantages and disadvantages of this new work configuration.

Conclusions This study is a first step towards recommendations to standardise the positioning of emergency team members and for a new spatial arrangement of equipment.

  • ergonomics
  • workspace
  • team coordination
  • adverse event
  • field of actions
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  • Contributors All authors provided with substantial contributions to the design, conduct and/or reporting of this study. TM prepared the study, performed the statistics, created the manuscript and managed its revision. MLC conducted the experiment and coded the recorded data. PC prepared the study and conducted the experiment. J-MLG conducted the experiment and served as a scientific advisor.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval This work was approved by the ethics committee of the CRPCC laboratory (reference number 16-04).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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