Cell phones distract Doctors!
A recent front page story in the NY Times [12-15-11] highlights a disturbing trend about the potential for significant distraction from cell phones and messaging devices leading to patient harm, as physicians as well as other providers embrace this technology in the hospital and physician offices and clinics for communication. (…)
Although cell phones and messaging devices can certainly enhance communication in the hospital setting between providers caring for patients, the potential for overuse as well as misuse of the technology has become more apparent more recently as the potential for patient harm has surfaced. (…)
At any given time, the number of hospital staff texting, surfing the net, doing online shopping and using social networking sites is a growing problem according to the author of the article.
One particular setting of concern is the operating room where the potential for long cases allows anesthesiologists, circulating nurses, as well as perfusionists to access their cell phones. Checking email, sending texts, and surfing the net, can be potential hazards to patients, when personel need to be focused on patient monitoring. (…)
Multitasking is certainly rewarded in our culture of medical care today. However, it should not come in the way of safety and proper patient care and attention.
Patients should not suffer due to rapidly expanding technologies—technologies which were ultimately designed to enhance and improve their care.
Glatter, Robert. Distracted Doctoring. Medscape Connect, Posted on 15th of December 2011. http://boards.medscape.com/forums?128@@.2a2ce7ea!comment=1