"Physical therapy is not a subspecialty of the medical profession and physical therapists are not medical doctors; we are a separate profession that provides a unique service that physicians are unable and untrained to provide."

Letter to the AMA from the APTA, Dec 2009

Friday, December 16, 2011

Distracted Doctoring Raises Risks For Patients

This free New York Times article discribes a disturbing trend for which peer-reviewed research is just beginning to emerge:
  • nurses and doctors gued to their iPads in the hospital
  • technicians who monitor bypass machines talking on cellphones during heart surgery
  • a neurosurgeon making personal calls during an operation
  • a nurse checking airfares during surgery
  • providers routinely texting during surgical or medical procedures

This January 2011 article in Perfusion describes cell phone use during heart bypass procedures.

Do physical therapists routinely use mobile devices, such as iPhones, in the clinic?

Does mobile device use in the ambulatory outpatient setting pose the risk to patient safety that the same behavior in surgical settings poses?

My assessment is no.

What do you think?

Please comment.

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Tim Richardson, PT owns a private practice at Medical Arts Rehabilitation, Inc in Palmetto, Florida. The clinic website is at MedicalArtsRehab.com.

Bulletproof Expert Systems: Clinical Decision Support for Physical Therapists in the Outpatient Setting is a manager's workbook with stories, checklists, charts, graphs, tables, and templates describing how you can use paper-based or computerized tools to improve your clinic's Medicare compliance, process adherence and patient outcomes.

Tim has implemented a computerized Clinical Decision Support (CDS) system in his clinic since 2006 that serves as a Reminder, Alerting, Prompting and Predicting CDS using evidence-based tests and measures.

Tim can be reached at
TimRichPT@BulletproofPT.com .

"Make Decisions like Doctors"

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Consistent with the American Physical Therapy Association Vision Statement for Physical Therapy 2020, the American Physical Therapy Association supports exclusive physical therapist ownership and operation of physical therapy services.