Healthcare News & Insights

Half of medical technicians text during surgery

Mobile tech devices give doctors and other staff easy access to patients’ medical records, which can help prevent errors. But do they also bring new distractions that can put patients in danger?

That’s a problem many hospitals and medical practices are now considering.

In a survey published in the journal Perfusion, 55% of medical technicians charged with monitoring bypass machines admitted to talking on cell phones during surgery. Half also admitted to sending or reading text messages while in surgery.

Some providers have seen problems with doctors and nurses, as well. A recent New York Times story cites examples of nurses checking personal email or airfares during surgery and even a recently settled lawsuit involving a patient who was left paralyzed after a neurosurgeon performed an operation while making personal calls using his cell phone and a hands-free headset.

As more clinicians begin using mobile devices when they care for patients, hospitals and medical practices may consider introducing new policies and training to remind doctors and other staff members how to safely use those devices.

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  1. I think that doctors should not be allowed to bring their personal communication devices while working on a patient, especially during a surgey procedure. Patiens not only pay a lot of money for the procedure they’re going thorugh but also placing alot of trust into the doctor and the hospital. If for some reason they have to be on the phone, it must be work related and a device should made especially for that reason. If they’re just pricing out their Jaguars or Mansions, then they don’t need to be performing surgey or even working that day since that’s more important than their patient. And they wonder why people don’t like going to the doctor.