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  1. Henneman, Elizabeth A. PhD, RN
  2. Marquard, Jenna L. PhD
  3. Nicholas, Cheryl PhD
  4. Martinez, Vanessa BSE
  5. DeSotto, Kristine BS
  6. Scott, Susan S. MSN
  7. Soares, William E. MD
  8. Henneman, Philip L. MD


Interruptions occurring during the delivery of health care are frequent and create a serious threat to patient safety. It is important to test strategies directed at decreasing the negative effects of interruptions. The purpose of this pilot study was to test the Stay S.A.F.E. strategy for managing interruptions. A pretest, posttest quasi-experimental design was used to test the primary hypothesis that the Stay S.A.F.E. interruption management strategy would significantly (P < .05) reduce distraction time away from a primary task following an interruption. Twenty nurses with a median of 12 years of experience (range: 1-45 years) participated in the study. There was a significant decrease in the amount of time that participants were distracted away from the primary task between the pretest (134.47 seconds, SD = 6.87) and posttest (6.08 seconds, SD = 1.27) periods; P = .0004. The results of this study suggest that the Stay S.A.F.E. interruption management strategy was effective in reducing the length of time participants were distracted from the primary task in a simulated clinical setting. In addition, nurses confirmed the reports of others that interruptions are frequent, dangerous, and result in errors.