As health professionals, we have all performed various tasks in Zoom calls. But few of us have made Zoom calls with a patient asleep in front of us. We recently heard the history of a California plastic surgeon Zooming Court from the operating room with a patient at the operating table.
“Hello, Mr. Green? Hi, are you available for the test? said a room secretary as Dr. Green, wearing a surgical mask and cap, appeared in a virtual plaza with operating room lighting visible behind him. “Looks like you’re in an operating room right now.” .
“I am, sir,” replied Dr. Green as the machines made a bottom chest. “Yes, I am in an operating room right now. I am available for testing. Straight.”
The story of Zooming court from the operating room reached every media outlet in the free world as you can imagine.
Beyond what did this guy think Here are some ideas:
Perception surpasses reality
I do not know all the circumstances of the case. But after seeing excerpts from the encounter, it appears the doctor was in the operating field while trying to manage his court business at Zoom. Even if there was another doctor in the operating room with the main person responsible for the patient’s well-being, the optics are not good. It is important to remember this perception almost always outweighs reality.
Multitasking is an illusion
Zoom gave this doctor the false belief that he could be in court while performing surgery. We have all fallen into the grip of the narcissistic illusion that we can do all sorts of things at once. And we can. But it’s usually half the fault.
So how many things can we do at once? Not many. From now on New England Journal of Medicine The perspective of January this year seems to be that our most important resource in medicine is care:
The evidence from cognitive science is clear: fractured attention leads to longer processing time devoted to complex tasks, impaired working memory, and bias. In medicine, distraction contributes to the expiration of judgment, insensitivity to changing clinical conditions, and medication errors.
multitasking forces you to pay a mental price every time you interrupt one task and move on to another. In psychological terms, this mental price is called the cost of change. The cost of change is the disruption of performance we experience when we shift our focus from one task to another.
Therefore, as a patient, the last thing any patient should think about is the cost of change paid by the doctor treating them.
Technology will continue to impose demands on our attention
Those who seek to make the tools that catch our eye come to us with the idea that we can be in two or more places at once, like in a court while we are in the operating room. Advanced connection options and information information beyond our IRL space will continue to grow. And if we don’t check, we’ll fall into the belief that our bandwidth can increase to meet what Silicon Valley has to offer.
What happened here is more of a human problem than a technological problem. A video conferencing app doesn’t know it any better. But yes. And knowing where, when and how to leave tools between us and our patients and understanding how they can help or hinder us will be an important part of our work in the future.
We must be intentional with our presence
Management thinker Esko Kilpi suggested (on Twitter on June 12, 2019) this
The future of human labor is based on a more intensive present. The challenge for management is to create work environments that functionally support the most intense presence of people.
He was not referring to medicine, but our profession should be the case for intensive presence.
We must be intentional with our presence. One of my favorite people on the planet is Craig Mod, who in this 2017 Cable test suggests that attention is like a muscle. You must exercise:
Still, attention is duplicitous: it doesn’t feel like a muscle. And exercising doesn’t result in a noticeably healthier-looking body. But it translates into a sense of foundation, a sense of rationality, control of your emotions, a healthy mind. Our measuring sticks for life are usually optimized for material things, easy things to count. Houses, cars, husbands, babies, dollar bills. Attention is immaterial, difficult to trace.
Among humans, our presence is our superpower. In fact, as technology grows in and around our environment, presence may be one of the few things left that really defines us and our clinical relationships.
We must not waste it. We should exercise muscle and power. Even when the person we are focusing on is asleep.