Smartphone Use during Rounds Tied to Distraction, Patient Harm

October 24, 2012 | Strategic Insights for Health System


Just as road accidents can be caused by distracted driving, healthcare providers using smartphones during attending rounds can become seriously distracted during moments of important information transfer and thus cause risk of patient harm, according to a study in the October 2012 Journal of Hospital Medicine. Despite numerous benefits for physicians and patients, including rapid access to medical references, research applications, and patient information and education, results of a survey conducted among medical and pediatric house staff at a public teaching hospital in New York and among faculty members at an affiliated medical university hospital revealed that both house staff and attendings experienced distractions from smartphone use during patient-information transfer.

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