Smartphone use during inpatient attending rounds: Prevalence, patterns and potential for distraction

Rachel J. Katz-Sidlow, Allison B. Ludwig, Scott Miller, Robert Sidlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

66 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: While there are numerous benefits of smartphone use for physicians, little is known about the negative effects of using these devices in the context of patient care. Objective:: To assess resident and faculty smartphone use during inpatient attending rounds and its potential as a source of distraction during transfer of clinical information. Design:: Cross-sectional survey. SETTING:: University-affiliated public teaching hospital. Participants:: All housestaff and inpatient faculty in the departments of Medicine and Pediatrics. Methods:: Participants were asked about smartphone ownership, usage patterns during attending rounds, and whether team members had ever missed important data during rounds due to distraction from smartphones. Attendings were asked whether policies should be established for smartphone use during rounds. RESULTS:: The overall response rate was 73%. Device ownership was prevalent (89% residents, 98% faculty), as was use of smartphones during inpatient rounds (57% residents, 28% attendings). According to self-reports, smartphones were used during rounds for patient care (85% residents, 48% faculty), reading/responding to personal texts/e-mails (37% residents, 12% faculty), and other non-patient care uses (15% residents, 0% faculty). Nineteen percent of residents and 12% of attendings believed they had missed important information because of distraction from smartphones. Residents and faculty agreed that smartphones "can be a serious distraction during attending rounds," and nearly 80% of faculty believed that smartphone policies should be established. CONCLUSIONS:: Smartphone use during attending rounds is prevalent and can distract users during important information transfer. Attendings strongly favored the institution of formal policies governing appropriate smartphone use during inpatient rounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)595-599
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Hospital Medicine
Volume7
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2012

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Teaching Rounds
Inpatients
Ownership
Smartphone
Patient Care
Equipment and Supplies
Public Hospitals
Postal Service
Teaching Hospitals
Self Report
Reading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Assessment and Diagnosis
  • Care Planning
  • Fundamentals and skills
  • Leadership and Management

Cite this

Smartphone use during inpatient attending rounds : Prevalence, patterns and potential for distraction. / Katz-Sidlow, Rachel J.; Ludwig, Allison B.; Miller, Scott; Sidlow, Robert.

In: Journal of Hospital Medicine, Vol. 7, No. 8, 10.2012, p. 595-599.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Katz-Sidlow, Rachel J. ; Ludwig, Allison B. ; Miller, Scott ; Sidlow, Robert. / Smartphone use during inpatient attending rounds : Prevalence, patterns and potential for distraction. In: Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2012 ; Vol. 7, No. 8. pp. 595-599.
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