Monday, December 19, 2011

Distracted Doctoring better or worse than Distracted Drivers?

If you thought distracted drivers were bad, what about distracted doctors? As Doctors Use More Devices, Potential for Distraction Grows, from the New York Times.

..."My gut feeling is lives are in danger," said Dr. Papadakos, who recently published an article on "electronic distraction" in Anesthesiology News, a journal. [Electronic Distraction: An Unmeasured Variable in Modern Medicine; November 2011 Volume: 37:11.] "We’re not educating people about the problem, and it’s getting worse."...

I find it a bit ironic that it was my code that created the first electronic prescription. Was it the first electronic doctor distraction too?

Collectively, you and I are creating this 'distraction' mess with the various Embedded System Widgets we make. Anything we can do about it?


  1. I tend to think of distraction as taking back some of the advantage of a new factor. There may still be a net gain. Identifying something as partly causing a problem means fix the problem, not necessarily get rid of the thing.

    My son just asked me why, if using a handheld cellphone was banned, why was it OK to use the fancy GPS. I said it was a good Q, and the real issue was getting people to attend to driving, not the specific distraction. (Like distrctingly explaining distractions to my son while driving.) The pivotal point is: pay attention and do your job!

  2. Their proposal is banning all devices, not just Cell Phones.