Should "Diagnosing While Texting" Be Illegal?

I saw an interesting comment at Medscape in the comment thread of the article "Do Your EHR Manners Turn Patients Off?" (MedScape subscription required).

Dr. [redacted] | Neurology

I live in a town that has passed legislation criminalizing texting and driving. A driver is more impaired and distracted when texting than when intoxicated.  EHR's and the practice of medicine should be no different. Do you really believe that your physician is actually concentrating on the patient in front of them while their attention is primarily focused on entering data on a computer? The reality is that EHR's true value is data collection for statistical analysis by our government and there is an obvious deficiency for enhancing the physician-patient collaborative experience.

Medicine, like driving, is a very cognition, thinking and concentration-intense activity.   Failures lead to injury and death (although not quite as dramatically in the former compared to the latter).

I think the point about distraction the commenter makes is valid, or at least worthy of healthy consideration.

Unless you're a health IT hyperenthusiast, that is (see

-- SS
Should "Diagnosing While Texting" Be Illegal? | Admin | 5