Distraction has become a way of life. In some contexts, however, distraction isn’t merely a source of annoyance — it can also prove life-threatening. This is particularly true in the health care industry, where an increasing number of doctors and other professionals are demonstrating signs of distraction. Below, we examine this phenomenon and offer up potential remedies.
How Distracted Are Today’s Doctors?
Data presented by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s John Makary indicates that medical errors are more common than previously assumed, with estimates reaching an alarming 250,000 per year. According to the FDA, these errors lead to injury for over 1 million patients every year.
While research has yet to uncover the extent to which distraction plays a role in medical errors, it’s clear that cell phones and other devices are increasingly common in health care facilities. In a concerning survey involving 439 perfusionists, over 55 percent of respondents admitted to using their cell phones during procedures. Furthermore, approximately half admitted to texting.
Not all devices are problematic in a health care setting. Tablet computers assist in tracking essential data. Some doctors believe that cell phones allow them to reach other professionals quickly when necessary. Still, as a patient, it’s important to be aware of the potential for distraction.
When possible, strive to maintain focus on one matter at a time. For example, it’s best to hold off on unrelated questions while your doctor is drawing blood or checking your heart rate. Use clear, specific language to grab your doctor’s attention and to emphasize the importance of your concerns.
Don’t let medical professionals get away with negligence. Justice is well within reach when you work with Regan Zambri Long PLLC. Reach out today to learn more about our medical malpractice services.