Making hospitals less like airplanes

Making hospitals less like airplanes

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is telling hospitals there’s no need for a blanket ban on cellphones. Many of the NHS’s regions have bans on all cellphone use, but the MHRA says that if the reason is to avoid interference with equipment, it’s only necessary in specific locations such as ICUs.

I’m not a big fan of cellphone use in public spaces. It’s often annoying to hear others on the phone at close quarters. And hospitals are noisy enough as it is. But I also dislike bans that are ostensibly based on “safety” or “security” reasons when they are really just done for the convenience or revenue enhancement of the rule maker. If cellphones are banned, let’s be honest about the reasons. In general I think it’s reasonable to have access to a cell phone in a patient’s room. It should just be used with consideration for others.

July 14, 2006

One thought on “Making hospitals less like airplanes”

  1. I kind of think that doctors should be banned from using cell phones in hospitals. People tend to have private conversations–forgetting taht others are arond them.

    I was in a major teaching hospital in Boston the other day walking down the front staircase into the main lobby when I heard a doctor say confidential things about a patient. “X had an acute emotional breakdown in my office the other day, so we admitted X.”

    I think that I might know X (former teacher at my highschool–kind of an unusual name), but, either way, I shouldn’t have heard that bit of information.

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