Mobile devices are increasingly prominent in health care settings, where doctors and nurses increasingly use iPads to update patient information or access critical records. But while mobile devices can dramatically improve health care efficiency, they hold several notable drawbacks. Chief among these? Distraction. In this two-part series, we will explore the alarming role distraction and cell phone use play in the modern health care industry — and how this issue can be addressed.
Health Care Workers Are Vulnerable to Distraction
It’s no secret that distraction impacts our performance in a variety of arenas. On the road, for example, cell phone distractions are responsible for far too many deadly crashes. Meanwhile, students who are distracted by cell phones suffer worse grades and standardized test scores. Research indicates that mobile devices can prove distracting even if not in use — especially if situated near the owner. Health care workers are just as prone to such distractions as the general public. In fact, some arguably suffer distraction to a greater degree, as mobile devices are often inextricably tied into every aspect of their workday.
Distractions Impact Patients
A growing body of research shows that distractions in health care harm patients. For example, in an observational study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, each distraction resulted in a 12.7 percent increase in clinical errors and a 12.1 percent rise in procedural failures. This particular study involved nurses administering medications at teaching hospitals, but distractions could also prompt negative results in everything from diagnosis to surgery.
Distraction may play an alarming role in the health care industry, but you can fight back. Regan Zambri Long PLLC is a top medical malpractice resource — and the perfect legal team to have in your corner. Reach out today to learn more.