I had not heard of this until the New York Times article late last year – distracted doctoring. That’s scary!
All of the technology hospitals now have is great. And while the article does mention that the technology can distract practitioners, it also pointed out that doctors and nurses may not always be doing work.
From the Time, some examples: “a neurosurgeon making personal calls during an operation, a nurse checking airfares during surgery and a poll showing that half of technicians running bypass machines had admitted texting during a procedure.”
In response, some hospitals have begun limiting the use of devices in critical settings, while schools have started reminding medical students to focus on patients instead of gadgets.
“My gut feeling is lives are in danger,” said Dr. Peter Papadakos to the Times. He is an anesthesiologist and director of critical care at the University of Rochester Medical Center in upstate New York.
Technology has help reduce medical error. And....
Scott J. Eldredge, a malpractice lawyer in Denver, was cited in the article. He represented a patient who was left partly paralyzed after surgery. The neurosurgeon was distracted during the operation, using a wireless headset to talk on his cellphone,
Certainly something to be aware of if nothing else. Caregivers and patient advocates who accompany patients to procedures should be mindful of this. Asking the right questions, such as whether the hospital has an OR policy regarding devices, will at least alert the staff that you know about the issue and send a reminder to them to always keep the patient front and center.