To estimate the relative rate of distractions that caused by audio notifications by mobile phones while focusing on long term distractions. We wanted to check whether there is a connection between the frequency and the relative rate of distractions that came from audio notifications, and especially the long term distractions, to the staff personnel's age and their youngest child's age. Moreover, we wanted to check if there is a connection between the perception of mobile phone as a cause of disturbance, to the frequency and relative rate of distractions that caused by its audio notifications.
The study was conducted in two major hospitals in Israel. We made direct observation on 100 nurses during preparation and distribution of medications. After observation period every observed participant filled out a questionnaire designed to measure his perception of mobile phones as a cause of disturbance.
Distractions caused by audio notifications constitute at least 25% of all distractions during preparation and distributions of medications and of that, 20% are long term distractions. A negative connection was found between the perception of mobile phones as a cause of disturbance and long distractions, but not with the overall distractions stemming from audio notifications. The age of the participants and the age of their children have a negative connection on the frequency of distractions stemming from audio notifications, and especially long term distractions. The research findings raised a concern that using mobile phones has to be connected to the department safety policy.
The market penetration of mobile phones is rising in every industrial sector and professional field. The perception of mobile phones as a cause of disturbance during activities that require concentration may limit the use of mobile phones, or at least limit extended use of them. A program of assimilation of new workers needs to emphasize the negative influence of using them during activities that require concentration. Additionally, in future research, it is important to consider creating coherent policies for the use of mobile phones in the workplace and beyond.