Electronics are everywhere in medicine these days, and smartphones are so common that it’s unusual to see a doctor without one.
Could that be to your detriment as a patient? So-called “digital distraction” is a serious problem when it comes to the safety of patients.
You deserve your doctor’s full attention when you’re being treated
The sight of a cellphone in your doctor’s hand in the examination room probably doesn’t make you automatically think of “distracted doctoring,” but that may be exactly what’s happening.
Ever since smartphones became popular, hospitals and clinics have struggled to regulate their use among staff – and that includes the doctors. The issue is neither isolated or small. Take, for example, the plastic surgeon in California who thought it would be okay to show up on a Zoom call to court while he simultaneously handled a traffic ticket and a patient’s care.
It is true that physicians sometimes see their smartphones as a tool that they can use to enhance patient care. It’s easy to look up something unusual or send a team member a quick question. However, the temptation to quickly check their personal texts, their social media posts or the progress on a delivery they’re expecting can be used.
Simply put, patient care isn’t something that should be subject to multi-tasking. If your doctor was texting and checking email on their phone or posting on social media while they were supposed to have their full attention on you, it’s hardly surprising they might make a mistake.
If you’ve suffered an injury because your doctor was focused on their phone instead of you, you have every right to expect fair compensation for your losses.