Codebreaker

Distracted by devices in the OR?

Marc Sanchez Dec 15, 2011

Hospitals and clinics are always searching for the latest gizmos to keep you, their patients, correctly diagnosed and healthy. And there’s been no shortage of buzz around how technology is changing, or going to change, the health care industry. But is your doctor or nurse or x-ray tech too connected?

According to a 2010 survey, 55 percent of heart-surgery technicians admitted to using a phone during surgery. To be clear, these weren’t the actual doctors. No, these were just the men and women monitoring the machines that can tell whether you’re about to die or not. Eh, whatevs.

The New York Times uses the term “distracted doctoring” in an article that says the problem is only going to get worse, with younger doctors embracing technology. Anesthesiologist, Dr. Peter J. Papadakos, has written about the phenomenon. The Times quotes him, “‘You justify carrying devices around the hospital to do medical records,’ he said. ‘But you can surf the Internet or do Facebook, and sometimes, for whatever reason, Facebook is more tempting.’”

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