Nurses’ cellphone use can result in a medication error

San Antonio residents who are seeking medical care for an illness or injury will expect the medical professionals to pay strict attention to what they are doing. However, like the world in general, people are constantly checking their cellphones. Those in health care who are distracted can negatively impact their patients.

study focusing on the risks of checking a cellphone while working in healthcare shows that this can increase the chance of a mistake. The research followed 257 nurses who worked in pediatric intensive care. They cared for more than 3,300 patients. Approximately 50% of the nurses got a call around 10 minutes prior to dispensing medication. Nurses who were distracted by the call had a 3.7% rate of mistakes. This was a significant increase from the 3.1% rate of errors for those who did not get a call.

Other important factors in the rate of mistakes included: the nursing shift; their experience; how many patients the nurses were caring for; and the level of care the patient needed. Text messages were not found to be connected to a rise in errors. Separate research indicates that social media notifications do play a role in the number of errors. This shows that while it is extremely difficult to stop all cellphone interruptions, certain strategies to reduce them may be critical.

Patients place inherent trust in medical professionals. Unfortunately, in the era of constant cellphone use, distractions can result in a disaster. People who have been harmed by such a medication error might want to discuss their situation with a medical malpractice attorney.


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