In recent years there has been a growing concern in healthcare about distracted doctors. Like distracted drivers, physicians who are preoccupied with the electronic devices in their hands may pose a danger to others around them. Inattention leads to preventable medical errors.
Doctors in New Jersey and nationally occasionally subject themselves to intense scrutiny in regard to their medical practices and treatment of patients. Sometimes that focus comes from state and federal health regulators, especially where an established pattern of medical errors and patient harm is reasonably suggested.
This great irony has always existed in hospitals, whether they are in New Jersey or anywhere else: They are at once facilities where people go to get better while at the same time being environments marked by heightened risk factors that can imperil the health of patients.
It is certainly interesting to read one prominent doctor and medical commentator note that “one of the most difficult moments in one’s career” relates not to unraveling a complex illness or informing a patient of tragic news, but, rather, to a discussion with another doctor.
The seminal and oft-cited estimate offered more than 20 years ago by the national Institute of Medicine concerning the number of people who die annually in American hospitals owing to medical mistakes was for some time viewed as unrealistic.