What's your De-Vice?
We gave a presentation last weekend at the national ASPAAN conference.
A very interesting conversation ensued when someone asked us a question about distractions due
to electronic devices in the operating theatre.
The consensus was that the problem is endemic.
Everyone, it seems, had a story about a colleague being on Facebook or playing a game such as
'Words with Friends' and being too distracted to attend to their duties properly.
We were asked if 'Below Ten Thousand' could have a role in that scenario.
My guess is that 'Below Ten Thousand' serves two purposes in this situation.
First, it acts as an awareness vector.
Talking about Below Ten Thousand inevitably involves conversation and a deepening understanding of the dangers of distraction and the loss of situational awareness in the patient care environment.
This alone makes people more aware and personally accountable when they realize that their behaviour may be problematic.
Second, when 'Below Ten Thousand' is used, it can act as a reminder for clinicians that there is something 'important' going on, and that they need to stop, look and listen.
In other words, put the device down and start to pay attention.
The one thing 'Below Ten Thousand' can't do is performance manage the occurrence when device distraction gets in the road of providing a safe patient care environment.
We have to do that for ourselves.
As clinicians, we have the responsibility and the opportunity to self-manage or self-correct.
That is the ideal outcome.
If this does not happen then our manager has the responsibility and the opportunity to provide feedback, or performance manage, by official or unofficial means.
As a ground-up culture change, Below Ten Thousand is a voluntary compliance code.
However as a policy, it is a completely different story.
It makes it easier to take distraction seriously.
Then we can really start on the journey towards becoming high performance teams.
In summary, creating a high performance team environment doesn’t always rely upon what you add to the cognitive environment.
Sometimes what is more important is that your device distraction may detract from it.