[ Tuesday, July 21, 2015 ]


Cell Phones in the OR: I saw the headline for this article in the Atlantic, but when I read it I saw it wasn't focused on what I perceive to be the bigger problem.  The Atlantic is looking at the "don't text and drive" aspects, while my usual concern with texting has to do with security and medical record issues, so I didn't link to it.  But then I got my afternoon email from FierceHealthIT, and sure enough they highlighted the data privacy and security issues OR texting raises.

In my experience, if you call a surgeon's cell phone during normal "operating" hours, you're as likely as not to get someone (a scrub nurse or tech, usually) answering the phone with the phrase, "Dr. _______'s phone."  And if everyone's dropped their phones in the same location and a phone goes off with a text, someone's going to pick up each phone to see who got the text.  AND, unless you're using secure texting software, the nurse or tech is likely to read PHI that he or she shouldn't have access to.  You can see the problem there -- So think before you text, especially in the OR.

Jeff [1:12 PM]

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