American Univesity of Beirut

Does the use of mobile devices by healthcare professionals support or distract the process of care in Emergency Departments?

The use of mobile devices in clinical settings is the new occupational reality. Several studies were carried out to explore this new trend in its different aspects and impacts on the professional healthcare environment, patient experience, and quality of care. Exploring the frequency and characteristics of mobile devices use in The Emergency Department (ED) is particularly important since the ED is a setting characterized with heavy workloads and increased propensity for interruptions.

In a pioneering step, a team of researchers from AUB and LAU, including FHS Professor Mohamad Alameddine and FM Professor Eveline Hitti, led a study, the first of its type, focusing on mobile device utilization in the ED setting and exploring both HCP clinical-related and personal use in this setting.

The study examined the prevalence and frequency of mobile device use, and perceptions around clinical and personal usage, among healthcare providers (attending physicians, residents, and nurses) in the ED of a large academic medical center in Lebanon.

The manuscript revealed without a doubt that the use of personal mobile devices in the ED setting, for both personal and professional purposes, is the new occupational reality. While ED HCPs seem to value the impact of mobile devices on coordination of care, attitudes towards impact on safety and team cohesion are less favorable. In addition, the reverse spillover effect of personal issues into the workplace, enabled by mobile devices, may have some negative impact on staff's performance at work.

The findings of this study call for the endorsement of a digital code of conduct to ensure that the use of mobile devices is an enabler to better care, increased efficiency and improved safety at the ED.

To read the full study, please click HERE.​​

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