Comparing auditory and tactile cues to inform clinicians of patients’ vital signs

May Gellert, Nuphar Katzman, Jessica P. Klein, Amit Frenkel, Moti Klein, Jeremy R. Cooperstock, Joseph J. Schlesinger, Yuval Bitan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is a complex work environment, known for its high cognitive and physical workload (Carayon & Alvarado, 2007). The work of ICU
nurses involves two forms of actions: initiated actions and responses to events, and is characterized by frequent interruptions (Bitan, Meyer, Shinar, & Zmora, 2004). Medical device alarms were found to account for over 20% of these interruptions (Drews, Markewitz, Stoddard, & Samore, 2019). Based on Wickens’ (2008) Multiple Resources Theory (MRT) and the fact that the tactile modality remains almost unused in the current work environment, the concept of delivering alarm information via tactile cues has been examined. Our previous work showed over 80% correct identification rates of complex tactile
cues when tested on undergraduate students (Katzman et al., 2019). This study aimed to compare clinicians’ accuracy and response time to alarm information represented as tactile cues and auditory alarms. Furthermore, it expands knowledge regarding multimodal dual-tasking involving the tactile modality, and tactile complex cues in particular.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-194
Number of pages2
JournalProceedings of the International Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - 16 Sep 2020


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