Objective: To determine the content and urgency of pages and their effect on the activities of pediatric residents.
Design: Prospective survey.
Setting: University-affiliated teaching hospital.
Participants: Seventeen pediatric residents on regular pediatric services.
Measurements/main results: On daily logs, interns recorded the activity interrupted by a page and rated the urgency and importance of the page. Almost half of all pages interrupted patient care activities, and 24% interrupted scheduled work rounds or teaching conferences. Interns reported that 34% of pages resulted in a change in patient treatment, but they rated 25% of all pages as unimportant.
Conclusions: "Beepers" frequently interrupt pediatric residents involved in patient care activities and scheduled educational conferences. Studies of interventions aimed at decreasing unnecessary interruptions by pages are needed.