This guest post is from Abby Pearson.
As patients seeking medical care for illnesses and injuries, we have to trust that our doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals will provide the appropriate and necessary care to protect our health and well-being. Because these professionals are required to go to school for many years and have extensive training before they are allowed manage patients independently, we usually trust that they have the knowledge and skills needed to provide the correct or best treatment in any situation. However, having these skills and the necessary knowledge can be completely irrelevant should the medical professional treating you be distracted from the task, operation, or treatment at hand.
Unfortunately, as technology becomes even more prevalent in our society and people rely more and more on devices such as cell phones and iPads in their daily lives, the quality of care that patients are receiving seems to be declining as doctors’ attention is pulled away. In an effort to make medical information such as patient records and prescriptions more readily available to medical professionals, an increasing number of doctors and medical professionals have been given certain devices or have been allowed to use their own mobile devices, such as smart phones, while at work.
Although this can be extremely beneficial for patients when used to make sure a doctor is completely informed on a patient’s history or has access to essential information, it can be extremely dangerous when it distracts a medical professional from a patient and the care they are providing. Research and studies have been done recently that show that doctors and other medical professionals are using these devices for means that are not medically related, such as making personal calls or checking Facebook, something that can be potentially disastrous for a patient.
Any situation in which a medical professional becomes distracted by the use of a mobile device can easily become hazardous and/or tragic. Sadly, when a doctor, nurse, technician, or other medical professional becomes distracted through the use of a technological device, the potential for the following medical errors increases dramatically:
- Wrong patient surgery
- Surgery on the wrong body part
- Anesthesia errors
- Objects left in the body
- Prescription errors
Whether a medical professional makes these or other medical errors, if their negligence is the result of inappropriate use of technological devices or becoming distracted by these devices, they can be held responsible for the ensuing consequences through a medical malpractice claim. Such errors can cause devastating repercussions for patients and their families; thus, while these devices are helpful, the use of them should be monitored carefully in an effort to prevent devastating errors from occurring.
Abby Pearson is a regular contributor to medical and technological blogs that focus on keeping the public informed of news, rising trends, and how a medical malpractice lawyer can help the victims of medical malpractice.