Technology has advanced many aspects of the practice of anesthesiology. These benefits include: immediate availability of patient medical records, more efficient communication and connectivity, contemporaneous documentation, improved legibility in the medical record and clinical decision support. Technology has also created new patient safety and medicolegal concerns.

Controversy and debate continue in the anesthesiology community regarding the impact of distractions on vigilance and patient care from the use of personal electronic devices* (PED) in the O.R. and other patient care areas. Other common intraoperative distractions are intraoperative noise pollution from loud music, talking among surgical team members during critical periods of care, telephones, pagers, clinical alarms and monitors. Distractions in the O.R. from personal, non-patient-related use of PEDs, O.R. computers and excessive noise jeopardize patient safety while significantly increasing anesthesiologists’ risk of errors, exposing them to litigation and other potentially devastating consequences to his or her professional career.

Several studies...

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