2012
04.16

My doctor is distracted. But it’s not a tablet that has his mind on other things. I would argue instead that it is the rigorous demands of his job, the idea of balancing family life and professional life, or maybe it’s last night’s ballgame. In other words, he’s human just like you and me, and if he is a bit distracted for a moment in his job, it’s not the fault of an iPad.

Nonetheless, ‘distracted (insert your noun here)’ is the flavor of the month these days, and we seem to endlessly defending technology’s ability to help us be productive and not be a distraction. Doctors are the latest to be challenged on this front.

As you know, The Peggy Smedley Show has been devoting the entire month of April to educating listeners around the idea of technology not being a distraction in our everyday lives. The main impetus for the message this month comes from the fact that April is, in fact, Distracted Driving Awareness Month, but really the idea extends beyond the automobile and into other facets of our everyday lives, including our homes and even our doctors.

As Peggy and I ran through segment four last week we rattled off some numbers about the healthcare market: 55.6% of perfusionists (those that run heart-lung machines during surgery) use a cellphone during the performance of cardiopulmonary bypass; 49.2% send text messages while performing the same procedure; and 78.3% believe cellphones can introduce a potentially significant risk to patients.

Now I must admit, it is a bit disturbing to know that some professionals are sending text messages while I might be under for a procedure, but I think this is merely a small snapshot on the negatives that connected devices can introduce into a healthcare environment. In fact, I believe there is much more to the positive that can be derived from the use of connected devices. How about Dr. Kloosterman, who appeared on The Peggy Smedley Show a few weeks back, talking about how an iPad allows he and his staff to remotely monitor the heart condition of a patient?

Maybe you should ask him about connected devices, and whether they are a distraction. In fact, why don’t you do that? Cannot fly out to Boca Raton, Fla., to ask him in person? Then come to the Connected World Conference, June 11-13 and I will introduce you in person. Dr. Kloosterman will join a panel of doctors on June 12 where they will address the idea of distracted healthcare once and for all.

You won’t want to miss out panel of passionate healthcare workers, who each have some pretty strong opinions about what it takes to be connected, and whether or not they believe these devices are helpful in their everyday practices.

If you want some real opinions from some real healthcare professionals, don’t miss our panel discussion. Before you go off and say your doctor is distracted because he suddenly has an iPhone or an iPad, think about how focused you are everyday on the job. I would argue that the real professionals that know the enormity of their job at hand won’t view a tablet in their hand as an excuse to get distracted. Instead, they will find a way—like Dr. Kloosterman—to use it as a game-changing tool in their practice.

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