An estimated 85 percent of residents have smartphones, which they use an average 2.1 hours per day—including for clinical work. While such smart devices as phones and tablets promise advances in medical efficiency and functionality, there may be unintended consequences as well.
Read the linked article!!! (we cannot scoop it here as it is a pdf file) It raises several core concerns about how we use mobile devices (we think it also applies for desktop computers on your consultation table) in clinical practice. It not only applies to residents but also to clinicians. Do you watch your computer screen during consultations? How does your patient feel in this situation? It happend to me several times- and it felt very wired and rude…..
“It is important to pause and consider the unintended consequences of the adoption of this technology. For example, there have been multiple reports of medical errors caused by information technology, such as computerized provider order entry and clinical decision support systems
Because of the increased connectivity of these devices to work colleagues as well as to residents’ personal life, interruptions may increase in both realms. This may result in ‘‘distracted doctoring’’ and increased medical errors.
From an educational perspective, we have found that providing residents with smartphones makes them, in effect, more global and less local. This combined with increased interruptions can create professionalism issues. A resident may be providing good care for a patient on a distant ward when he responds quickly to a request from a nurse via smartphone or tablet. However, this act may be viewed as rudeness by the patient right in front of the resident.
Because devices make reaching supervisors easier, residents may defer most decision making to supervisors, with resulting loss of autonomy and learning.
Tablets and smartphones also increase connections to residents’ personal lives. Recently at our institution, an attending on rounds observed his medical student accessing Facebook while the attending was discussing a recently diagnosed cancer with the patient.
See on www.ama-assn.org