Technology Can Be a Distraction for the Medical Profession

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP

Since the evolution of the cell phone into the world of the smart phone, we have been flooded with stories and statistics on the dangers of driving while distracted. However, recently a new problem has emerged: practicing medicine while distracted. Especially with the features that smartphones now have, distractions to healthcare professionals have become more and more prominent.

The rise of the smartphones and other high-tech devices has certainly brought its share of advancements and positive impacts to the medical profession. These devices make it easier for healthcare professionals to access important information on things such as current drug information and data from case studies at a moment’s notice. This information has proven to save time and enhance the productivity of those in the medical field.

However, despite all the advancements, there are also dangerous consequences that come along with the advanced technology. Being able to gain access to relevant information so quickly can also lead to being able to access to other information at the same time. Those professionals also have access to social media sites such as Facebook. Some doctors have even been found calling or texting while on duty or even in surgery. The consequences to the patients can be extremely devastating. A recent survey found that 55 percent of the 439 medical technicians included had admitted to talking on cell phones during heart surgery.

Being distracted can have consequences for any procedure that a medical professional performs, from those as simple as taking blood, to those as complex as open heart surgery. In either event, the utmost degree of care should be afforded to patients. The nation has very strict rules on driving while distracted for a reason.

Source: NewsInferno, “Devices A Dangerous Distraction For Healthcare Professionals,” Cynthia, 12/15/11.

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