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Distracted Doctoring: #HealthXPh

I saw this on my Facebook feed, “Treat, Don’t Tweet: The Dangerous Rise of Social Media in the Operating Room” by Rebecca Buckwater-Poza and thought we needed to talk about this on #HealthXPh tweet chat this Saturday May 17, 10 am Manila time!


Coming as it did after “Look Up” by Gary Turk was shared by nearly everyone I knew in Facebook, it seemed like a sign. If you haven’t seen yet this “video that everyone needs to see,” it is according to Gary –

a lesson taught to us through a love story, in a world where we continue to find ways to make it easier for us to connect with one another, but always results in us spending more time alone.

Gary’s “Look Up” video struck a chord with me as a mother raising two sons ages 10 and 7; Rebecca’s essay did the same for me as a tech-loving physician. Rebecca writes that distracted doctoring is –

the deceptively mild term used to describe physician negligence involving electronic devices.

The metaphor is not lost on me when Dr. Rhunjun Misra says in “Distracted Doctoring – Is It Really a Concern?”

Like the Sirens were to Odysseus, smart devices are to physicians.

In “Distracted Doctoring: Smartphones before Patients,” Shelley Ross and Sarah Forgie describe an all too common scenario in medical conferences –

At a recent national education conference, we glanced around the darkened room as the speaker at the podium discussed the future of medical education. Many faces of our physician colleagues were bathed in the eerie blue glow from their phones and tablets …

Here’s what I’d like to discuss in the tweet chat:

T1 Should use of mobile phones (by both health care provider and patient) be allowed in the consultation room?

A study found that 25% of general practice consultations are interrupted and that 50% of these interruptions are due to the doctor’s telephone (O’Connor R, Barry N, Dempsey R. Interruptions in general practice. Ir Med J 2007;100(9):582-3).  Patients’ use of mobile phones can also interrupt a consultation. Interestingly. this study on the effect of a printed reminder in the waiting room to turn off mobile phones during consultation (Reveiz L & de Aguiar S. BMC Family Practice 2009, 10:21) found that women who received calls during a consultation, answered more compared to men.

T2 During working hours, when is an appropriate time for health care professionals to use social media?

The Mayo Clinic social media guideline says –

Ensure that your social media activity does not interfere with your work commitments.

What constitutes an interference? A 2010 survey on the cellphone use while performing cardiopulmonary bypass found that 3.1% of perfusionists have checked/posted on social networking sites during the procedure.

T3 Share rules for smartphone etiquette in the healthcare setting.

Check out this infographic on smartphone etiquette.



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