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Smartphone use among anesthesiologists during work hours: A survey-based study


1 Department of Anesthesia, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Biostatistics and Health Informatics, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Department of Orthopaedics, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Ashish Kumar Kannaujia,
Department of Anesthesia, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aer.aer_15_22

Context: Smartphone use has revolutionized life in all spheres, including the medical field. Smartphones provide immense opportunities but may also lead to negative consequences due to the element of distraction. In the medical profession and more so among anesthesiologists, multitasking has become very common, but the presence of mind is equally important. This study attempts to analyze the smartphone practices and trends among anesthesiologists during work hours in our country. Aims: The study aimed to identify recent trends and practices of smartphone use among anesthesiologists during working hours and its distribution as per designation and institutions. It also intends to determine the purposes of smartphones and their impact on patient care. Settings and Design: Online survey consisting of open-ended multiple-choice questions was conducted and circulated as Google Forms via E-mail and WhatsApp. Subjects and Methods: This survey was conducted to compare the respondents' views as per designation and workplace distribution. In addition, participants were asked about the current practices in smartphone use at their workplace, purposes of use, time spent on smartphones, and any negative medical consequences faced due to the same. Statistical Analysis Used: One-way ANOVA test was used to compare the means between the groups. Chi-square test/Fisher's exact test was used to compare the proportions. Results: Two hundred and sixteen (54%) were resident doctors, whereas 184 (46%) were consultants. Most of the respondents were young, with a mean age around 36 years. 31.5% of the residents used smartphones very often during anesthetized patient care compared to 10.3% of the consultants. Purposes of using smartphones were multiple, with phone calls (100%) being the most common followed by WhatsApp messaging (79.2%). 86.1% of the residents, as compared to 61% of the consultants, had anesthesia/intensive care unit-related apps on their smartphones. There was almost an equivocal response to how the smartphone has impacted patient care. 50.9% of the residents and 43% of the consultants felt improved patient care, whereas 38% of the residents and 43.5% of the consultants believed it had worsened. Conclusion: There was no clear-cut consensus whether smartphone use improved or worsened patient care. On the one hand, there can be distractions leading to adverse medical consequences, while on the other hand, the use of medical apps has been made possible because of the handy and easily accessible smartphones. Thus, the use of smartphones may be carried out with a sense of responsibility by the anesthesiologists during work hours.


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