Presented by Donna Ford at the 2017 AORN Expo – Boston MA
Attended and article written by Denise Edelman
PEDs (personal electronic devices) are everywhere. Donna Ford’s presentation on Dangerous Distractions explains why we need to have our hands on them at all times. PEDs are addictions and have led us to believe that we can multi task. She highlighted several incidences where patients experienced adverse events as we “do it all.”
Distractions are detrimental to our ability to “perform complex tasks that require high level of cognitive processing.” The job gets done but part of our attention was to our phone. We don’t allow interruptions that can be harmful to our patients, why do we allow our phones to do the same? Why are they in our ORs?
Distracted practice maybe a significant factor to health care errors which are the 6th leading cause of death. We are bombarded with stimuli from everywhere.
Five concerns she identified are:
- Human and Addictive Behaviors-Studies have been completed showing PEDS cause behavioral addiction. A large amount of money and time is spent with them, not with our families. We text while driving. We panic without them.
- Societal and Generational Factors-Younger adults are tolerant of phones being used everywhere. We now live “Alone Together.” We are “online” or on social media daily.
- Ineffective Multitasking. Bruce Knepper says “We’re messaging while we’re emailing while we’re on a call.” MacMillan says we suffer from intentional blindness.
- Prevalence of Personal Electronic Devices-92% of all adults have a cell phone. Almost half “rarely” turn their phones off. Most think their PED is harmful and disruptive but must have it.
- Infection Control Concerns- Kelly M. Pyrek says that studies have shown that PEDs are contaminated, rarely cleaned and disinfected as we don’t know what to use or how to do this.
Remember our inattentiveness can cost someone their life…
Don’t our patients and our families deserve our all?
As a result, we need to educate our staff:
- Establish guidelines for PEDs use.
- Decrease the distractions in our ORs.
- Create a sterile “cockpit”- use nonverbal ques to stop interruptions.
- Try to disconnect-instead of multitasking, stay focused.
- Never post anything about patient care on social media.
- Teach staff how to clean PEDs and use proper hand hygiene.
- Never read social media or surf the internet while doing patient care; be it your PED or work computers. This is tracked by date and time. This is one of first thing lawyers search during a law suit.
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