Distraction can contribute to medical mistakes in hospitals

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2022 | Medical Malpractice

When people talk about the dangers of distraction, their concerns often focus on road safety. The rise of digital devices has led to people looking down at screens instead of at the world around them as they drive. Crashes often result.  

Distraction can also affect other safety-critical aspects of your life, including the health care you receive at the hospital. Distraction in the form of mobile devices and attempted multitasking could lead to big mistakes when you seek out medical treatment. 

Distracted medical workers can make catastrophic mistakes

Medical workers have to pay close attention to their job responsibilities, and distraction increases someone’s risk of making a mistake on the job. Pushing the wrong buttons on an IV machine might mean the patient receives medication far too quickly. Distraction when handing out pills might mean that someone gets the wrong medication or doesn’t get the medicine they need at all. 

Nurses looking down at their phones or carrying on a conversation with a co-worker are not 100% engaged in patient care. Distraction could also be internal. Someone focused more on remembering something than the patient in front of them might ignore visible signs of a medical condition or fail to register verbal communication about new or worsening symptoms. 

People simply cannot multitask, despite the constant pressure to do so. When nurses and other medical care providers attempt to multitask, they can make mistakes, forget important details and otherwise compromise the quality of care that their patients receive. 

Medical malpractice does not always involve a doctor. Sometimes, it is the result of behaviors and mistakes by support staff, like nurses. Taking action after medical malpractice affects your health can compensate you and perhaps change work practices at the facility where you suffered malpractice.