July 15, 2015

Are guidelines needed for cell phones in the OR?

By: OR Manager
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Editor's Note

There are no federal regulations or quality measures that address cell phone use in the OR, but some say the time for clear-cut guidelines has come.

They cite errors and lax safety procedures that have resulted from physicians and nurses distracted by cell phone use.


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But others point out that cell phones allow them to address patient-care issues much faster, such as viewing patient information and lab results or communicating with colleagues in other parts of the hospital during a surgical procedure. 

 

KaiserHealthNewsA number of doctors and professional organizations are calling for clear rules on whether and how health care professionals can use cell phones while in the operating room.

Next time you're on the operating table and you have one last look around as the anesthesiologist approaches, don't be too sure that that person in scrubs looking at a smartphone is pulling up vital health data. He or she might be texting a friend, or ordering a new carpet.

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