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Devices could be distractions for doctors and surgeons

Technology can be hugely helpful in medical settings. Computers, tablets and even smartphones can make it easier for doctors and surgeons to have all of the information they need to to provide top-notch care. However, as these devices become more common in hospitals and other places, there is also a risk.

Much like the rise of distracted driving in recent years, some people are worried that doctors could be distracted as well. This is something all people in Illinois need to pay attention to, as mistakes made by a distracted doctor could lead to medical malpractice cases.

There have been documented instances that can't be ignored. For example, one neurosurgeon was in the midst of an operation and decided to take time away from it to make a personal call on a cell phone. A nurse who was assigned to help with surgery used a device to look up airfare rates. According to one pole, a full 50 percent of bypass machine technicians used their phones to text while on the job.

One anesthesiologist who works in a hospital said that what he saw when just strolling around the hospital was quite concerning. He noted that people were often "glued" to all manner of devices, from smartphones to iPads.

He also noted that the justification was there, in that these devices could be used to bring up information like medical records, but he also said that their Internet connectivity opened the door to web surfing, personal communication and Facebook usage. While he did not deny that the devices were used as intended at times, he also said that the desire to use Facebook and other such sites was often even stronger. He said this put people's very lives in danger.

Source: New York Times, "As Doctors Use More Devices, Potential for Distraction Grows," Matt Richtel, accessed Oct. 29, 2015

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