If your doctor makes a clear error that harms your health or directly causes an injury, you may find yourself asking why this happened to you. Above all else, you trusted that doctor to take care of you and put your health first. They not only failed to do so, but you’re now worse off than when you went to the hospital.
There are many reasons for medical errors, which happen far more than a lot of people realize. That said, mounting evidence shows it could be as simple as a smartphone-related distraction.
The biggest issue, of course, is that a doctor can only pay attention to one thing at a time, and multi-tasking is a myth. You’re better off thinking of it as switching attention quickly from one task to the next. The doctor isn’t doing both. If they’re looking at the phone, they’re not paying attention to the patient.
This is complicated, though. Should hospitals ban phones? They clearly can’t do so, as phones are a valuable resource. Doctors may use them to get assistance, check medical records, communicate with colleagues, keep track of their schedules and much more.
At the same time, dangerous distractions can be created by phones, especially if doctors are addicted. It’s all too easy to pick up the phone to check the time and wind up spending 15 minutes on social media. Even after putting the phone down, a doctor may be distracted just thinking about whatever they were doing.
As a patient, it’s hard to stop your doctor from getting distracted. What you can do is look into your options when medical malpractice causes you harm. If you believe that distractions and malpractice contributed to a poor medical outcome for you or your loved one, seek legal guidance right away.