Doctors face a lot of different distractions, some of which are unavoidable. A hospital can be a chaotic environment, they have to talk to many different people, they may have a busy schedule and much more. Doctors also have to keep track of a lot of information by utilizing electronic data records and other things of this nature.
Whatever, it is important for doctors to do what they can to reduce the level of distraction that they face. Actively adding to it can put patients in danger. It has been found that doctors who use mobile devices in a non-clinical manner are much more distracted than those who do not.
To a large degree, this is not a surprising finding. It’s already been shown that cellphone distraction is a major reason for driving errors and car accidents. The same thing is true in a medical setting. If the doctor is sending a text message or waiting for a call, they may be more likely to make a mistake when providing you with medical care. This can lead to complications, injuries and other inflated costs.
Are there valid uses?
There are some valid reasons why a doctor would want to use a cellphone. He or she may be texting another medical professional to get advice. The doctor may need to be on call, so they have their phone with them all the time. Plus, as noted above, electronic health records are just getting more common. Doctors can sometimes access these on portable computers and other mobile devices.
But that doesn’t mean this isn’t a distraction. It still leads to mistakes, and those who suffer injuries need to know what legal options they have.