Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

How can doctors curb digital distractions?

icon for smartphone (smart phone) related content

icon for smartphone (smart phone) related content (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There may be some advice here for the rest of us!

From the 19 April 2012 blog post at

While most early reports on the perils of social media concerned inappropriate postings by physicians, a new hazard has emerged recently: digital distraction. On WebM&M, the AHRQ-sponsored online patient safety journal that I edit, we recently presented a case in which a resident was asked by her attending to discontinue a patient’s Coumadin. As she turned to her smart phone to enter the order, she was pinged with an invitation to a party. By the time she had RSVPed, she had forgotten about the blood thinner – and neglected to stop it. The patient suffered a near-fatal pericardial hemorrhage.

In a commentary accompanying the case, the impossibly energetic John Halamka, ED doctor and Harvard Med School’s Chief Information Officer, described all of the things that his hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, is considering to address this issue….


April 20, 2012 Posted by | health care | , | Leave a comment


%d bloggers like this: