The Risks of Distracted Practice in the Perioperative Area

Program Description

In this course we will explore how the invasion of technology in the health care environment, especially the use of individual personal electronic devices (PEDs) — puts patient safety at risk. As a society, we are so focused on the screen that we fail to see the patient, because we believe in our ability to multitask. We will examine the challenges and solutions related to PEDs in clinical care settings and discuss what individuals and teams can do to reduce PED distractions and increase situational awareness.

We are pleased to have worked with Dr. Peter J. Papadakos and Dr. Steven Weintraub on the content for this course.

Dr. Papadakos is professor of anesthesiology, surgery, neurosurgery and neurology, and director of critical care medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. He is the author of Distracted Doctoring: Returning to Patient-Centered Care in the Digital Age.

Dr. Weintraub is chief of risk management of the North American Partners in Anesthesia (NAPA). In his role, Dr. Weintraub is attentive to behaviors and processes that represent opportunities to improve patient safety.


After completing this activity, learners will be able to:

  • Examine the challenges to defend a medical malpractice claim involving allegations of distracted practice.
  • Recognize how electronic distractions influence personal and professional attitudes, decisions, and actions.
  • Evaluate the influence on patient care of different types of distractions present in the perioperative environment.
  • Assess their usage of PEDs when providing patient care and modulate that behavior to reduce distractions.
  • Educate others on how to avoid distraction from PEDs and practice situational awareness when providing patient care.


No individual in a position to control or influence the content of this activity has reported relevant financial relationships with commercial interests. No commercial support was provided for this activity. 


Peter J. Papadakos, MD, FCCM, FAARC, Surgery, Neurology, and Neurosurgery, Professor of Anesthesiology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Steven J. Weintraub, MD, Chief of Risk Management, North American Partners in Anesthesia (NAPA).

Course Developers

Shelley Rizzo, RN, MSN, CLNC, CPHRM, CPPS, Patient Safety Risk Manager, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company.

Julie Hopkins, MA, MBA, Director, Continuing Medical Education, Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company.

Continuing Education Credit

The Doctors Company is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical educational activities for physicians.

The Doctors Company designates this enduring material activity for a maximum of 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The Doctors Company estimates one and a half hours for completion of this course. A passing score of 80 percent or greater is required to successfully complete the activity and earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

Course ID#: TDE 18031.0
Issue Date for This Activity: 07/19/2018
Expiration Date for This Activity: 11/30/2022


The information and guidelines contained in this enduring material activity are generalized and may not apply to all practice situations. The faculty recommends that legal advice be obtained from a qualified attorney for specific application to your practice. The information is intended for educational purposes only.

Complies with State Requirements

Please SEE the Federation of State Medical Boards overview of Continuing Medical Education requirements by State. 

Technical Requirements

This activity is best experienced using the most current browser (or one back) of Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Microsoft Edge. Internet Explorer is not supported by this platform. For all activities featuring audio you must have a sound card and speakers. To view graphic images and references that appear in separate "pop-up" windows, you must have JavaScript and session cookies enabled on your computer.  Adobe Acrobat Reader may be required for certain activities.


Click HERE to download a PDF with resources related to this program. 

Contact Us

If you have questions, contact or call 800.421.2368, extension 1243.