Digital Devices and Patient Safety
Our blog on Digital Devices and Patient Safety comes from the October 22, 2013 #HCLDR tweet chat. This tweet chat is held on Tuesday evenings at 8:30 p.m. EST. In an open group, individual healthcare stakeholders from all over the world come together each week to discuss healthcare topics that affect us all. Who are these stakeholders? They include patients, nurses, physicians, techies, geeks…. anyone who has an interest in improving healthcare.
Consider this as your personal invitation to join us!
We are particularly fond of this October session that focused on Digital Devices and Patient Safety. Since the subject was interesting and relevant to our promoting risk management and patient safety, we think our blog will provide some good food for thought in using digital devices and being mindful of how it affects others. This is great learning for all of us!
Question on Decreasing Digital Distractions in the Workplace
Here is our Digital Devices and Patient Safety question, provided by our co-pilot, Lisa Fields, aka @Practical Wisdom:
T1: Do you believe healthcare leaders work in digitally distracting workplaces? What suggestions could help decrease distractions? #hcldr
>— Lisa Fields (@PracticalWisdom) October 23, 2013
“T1” refers to our participants answering this question. Before reading some of our participants’ responses, we invite you to pause and think about this question and how affects you and your work environment.
T1 I think HC was super distracted long before digital devices, but devices have really ramped it up quite insanely. #HCLDR
— Dr. Mohan Krishnan (@soulmirror) October 23, 2013
There is a lot of truth to this statement. It’s exciting to learn and use new devices, but they are being added on top of our very busy worlds.
T1: Yes and we need to understand safety implications. User interface design important and education on prioritising #hcldr
— georgemargelis (@georgemargelis) October 23, 2013
Digital Device Interface design is important and must come from the users, since they know their work processes best.
T1: Could be alarms on in pt rooms, could be overhead pages, could be pagers/cell phones & need to “check” on our feeds. #hcldr
— CancerGeek (@CancerGeek) October 23, 2013
Absolutely! See references below.
T1: I’ve found multitasking to decrease my efficiency. “Busy” is not “productive” #hcldr
— Rahul Nayak (@TeamMDrs) October 23, 2013
It’s natural to think that multitasking increases the number of tasks we can check off our lists. Not so. Focusing on one task at hand and getting it done provides more accurate results and the satisfaction of checking that one To-Do item off your list.
T1 another disturbing pattern,people become so digitally distracted they often fail to make human connection #hcldr (not just HC)
— Camea (Kamiya) (@Kamiyamay) October 23, 2013
Think about it. If your physician were to provide little eye contact and engagement because he was too busy typing office notes into his/her computer, how would that make you feel? How does this affect your experience as the patient? Does this spark any changes you want to make as a physician in your own practice?
T1 Its been shown that switching between digital tasks prolongs work time due to time taken to “warm up” to our individual tasks #hcldr
— Sunny Chan (@waisunchan) October 23, 2013
Doesn’t this make sense? We get so mentally involved in our thinking during digital tasks, that sometimes we have to “wake-up” to the issues right in front of us.
— Michael A. Weiss (@HospitalPatient) October 23, 2013
Doesn’t this say it all? We hope you found this discussion enlightening. We welcome your comments and suggestions on what you would like to see in future blogs.
Resources for our Digital Devices and Patient Safety blog:
For this session, our Pre-Tweet Chat Blog entitled Maintaining Our Focus in a Digitally Distracting World: http://hcldr.wordpress.com/2013/10/21/oct-22nd-focus-in-a-digitally-distracting-world/
Are You Tired of Alarm Fatigue?: https://www.ecri.org/blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=35
Distractions Lead to Mistakes by Nurses: