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A stop sign taped to the counter reminds Rice Memorial Hospital pharmacy staff when someone is engaged in a no-talk task. As part of ongoing efforts to increase patient safety, the pharmacy has adopted several measures to reduce distractions and interruptions. Similar steps have been taken in the hospital laboratory. (Tribune photo by Anne Polta)

Taming work interruptions: Rice Hospital departments take steps to reduce interruptions and distractions, increase patient safety

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WILLMAR — When someone on the pharmacy staff at Rice Memorial Hospital is verifying a physician order, making up an IV or engaged in some other critical task, a red stop sign taped to the counter sends a can’t-miss message to everyone: This person is involved in a no-talk task and shouldn’t be interrupted.


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Anne Polta

Anne Polta covers health care, business/economic development and general assignment. Her HealthBeat blog can be found at Follow her on Twitter at @AnnePolta.

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