Eye-tracking methodology was used to investigate lapses in the appropriate treatment of ward patients due to not noticing critical cues of deterioration. Forty nursing participants with different levels of experience participated in an interactive screen-based simulation of hypovolemic shock. The results show that 65% of the participants exhibited at least one episode of non-fixation on clinically relevant, fully visible cues that were in plain sight. Thirty-five percent of participants dwelt for sufficient time (>200 ms) on important cues for perception to take place, but no action followed, indicating they had pattern-matching failure. When participants fail to notice what, they should notice in patient status until it is too late, this can have serious consequences. Much work needs to be done, since these human perceptual limitations can affect patient safety in general wards.
Eye-tracking techniques have been adopted as a research tool for a wide range of applications in healthcare studies. Recently, healthcare researchers have started to show interest in using eye-tracking techniques to study medical decision-making. Mapping the literature pertaining to eye tracking using a systematic approach is valuable at this point to bring together all the studies to date on how medical decision-makers make decisions, and the results may contribute to clinical training. This review follows Arksey and O'Malley's scoping review framework to improve our understanding of visual cue processing in medical decision-making. A diverse range of studies was identified, and the results are presented descriptively to develop a more coherent understanding of different aspects of cue processing and errors in medical decision-making. The review shows the need for more extensive investigations of cue processing and medical decision-making. Crown Copyright (C) 2016 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.