How often have you been looking at your phone when you suddenly realized someone had been talking to you, but you were too distracted to catch what they said? Or, perhaps you’ve seen news articles about distracted driving — with texting and driving leading the way — and how it contributes to accidents.
Either way, you know that a phone can be a distraction. That same principle holds true in a hospital, a doctor’s office or a surgical room. Phones and distractions can lead to serious mistakes and medical malpractice allegations.
Why have doctors come to rely on smartphones so much?
The problem is that banning phones and similar devices outright doesn’t make a lot of sense. Experts point out that these devices are useful tools. Doctors can communicate with one another quickly and easily. They can get advice and guidance. They can look up electronic health records. They can read emails sent by patients to help with meetings and procedures.
But not taking phones out of the hospital setting still means that doctors can get distracted. That distraction maybe something frivolous, like reading a text message or browsing social media. It may be something serious and important, like reading a work email or looking up those electronic health records. Either way, if a doctor is not completely focused on the patient and the task at hand, it can open the door to some serious mistakes.
Have you suffered harm from a doctor’s mistake?
Did a distracted doctor cause you harm by making an avoidable error? If so, you must know what legal steps you can take. An experienced advocate can help you understand whether you have a viable medical malpractice claim.