Practicing Medicine While Distracted: How Ubiquitous Cell Phone Use Impacts Health Practitioners And Places You at Risk — Part 2

Distraction is a big deal in the health care industry. In the first portion of this two-part series, we delved into the many ways in which constant technological distractions can impact doctors, nurses, and other health care workers — and how patients are negatively impacted by this problem. Now, we highlight potential solutions capable of mitigating the constant sense of distraction pervading the health care industry.

Switching to Job-Exclusive Devices

Mobile devices provide considerable value throughout the medical field. Simply abandoning them is not a realistic option. That being said, many steps can be taken to reduce associated distractions. Sticking exclusively with devices designed for work may help. Rather than featuring distracting social media notifications, these devices should include apps that actually benefit doctors and their patients. Those who continue to use their typical phones at work should at least turn their ringers and app notifications off.

Patients Can Hold Doctors Accountable

Patients shouldn’t have to patrol health care professionals for distraction, but unfortunately, this is the reality of today’s device-filled world. Those who are aware of cell phone use — and willing to address it proactively — can deliver a powerful check for health care professionals, who may not realize the extent to which they are distracted by their mobile devices.

If you spot your doctor glancing repeatedly at a cell phone or tablet during your appointment, don’t hesitate to ask why. You may learn of disturbing distractions (perhaps warranting a switch to a better doctor), but you could also discover that your doctor is simply updating your records or carrying out some other essential task.

Did distraction or some other form of negligence lead to negative outcomes at a hospital or clinic? Compensation for your suffering could be well within reach. Contact Regan Zambri Long PLLC to learn more about our approach to medical malpractice.