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Old 01-15-08, 08:07 AM   #1
Wulfheir
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Health Region bans cell phones, doctors say no.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/calgary/sto...ellphones.html

Doctors may choose to ignore CHR's cellphone ban

Some doctors are concerned a new Calgary Health Region policy banning its employees from using cellphones while driving, even with a hands-free device, could compromise patient care.

Starting Jan. 1, the region's employees are supposed to avoid taking any calls until they can pull off the road and park safely.

Dr. Glenn Comm, head of the Calgary and Area Physicians Association, says while he understands the region's desire to promote safety, doctors rely on cellphones and pagers for urgent messages about their patients.

"It's not always easy to stop. There's concerns about the timeliness of responding when you're paged," he said Monday.

In a recent editorial published in the association's newsletter, Comm said some doctors worry that patient safety could be compromised if they're stuck in traffic and can't return a page or phone call.

"I think for the most part the people on-call and the people who know that they need to be available will make the decisions that don't impact care and that may be a decision not to completely follow the guidelines," he said.

Comm said other doctors have also told him they're worried about the already squeezed health-care system.

"If you even slow down the process a few per cent by the delay in communication and stuff, then that just adds to the backlog," he said.

The Calgary Health Region admits it can't really enforce the policy.

"We aren't trying to tell physicians who they can and can't answer the phone from," said Donald Barker, a wellness strategist with the CHR.

"We're just trying to inspire them to consider the ways in which they do it, and trying to remind them that yes, patient care is of utmost importance but if a physician is injured, they can't do that patient care."

Comm said even if there isn't total compliance, the policy will make many doctors think twice about how they use their cellphones when driving.
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Old 01-15-08, 08:08 AM   #2
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There is evidence that driving while talking on a cell phone, either handheld or hands free DOES increase risk to road users. They are simply choosing to endanger a group of innocent people over their patient. When was the last time your doctor answered his cell phone will out and about to chat to you? I can't even get past my doctor's receptionist when he's standing in his office.
By talking on the phone trying to reduce backlog, they could cause an accident that sends many to the same hospital they are working at.
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Old 01-15-08, 08:18 AM   #3
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The Calgary Health Region admits it can't really enforce the policy.
Establishing unenforcable policies is bueraucratic ************
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Old 01-15-08, 09:16 AM   #4
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Establishing unenforcable policies is bueraucratic ************
Well, no. ************ does something useful.
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Old 01-15-08, 09:27 AM   #5
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Whether the policy is enforceable or not is only one issue. Making all driving-while-telephoning illegal at least serves a valuable public education function, since many motorists are in denial regarding the dangers of cell phone distraction. Also, in the event of a collision, telephone call logs can easily provide evidence against a distracted motorist. I am sick (so to speak) of doctors, lawmakers, and others feeling that they are somehow superior to John Q. Public and deserving of some sort of special dispensation.
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Old 01-15-08, 11:19 AM   #6
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They should be banned from driving so they can always answer their cell phones safely.
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Old 01-15-08, 01:19 PM   #7
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Establishing unenforcable policies is bueraucratic ************
Probably no more futile and unproductive than ranting on a bicycling forum about the evils of cell phone users/usage.
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Old 01-16-08, 08:18 PM   #8
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lol - seriously though, the doctors should consider the public health cost of driving and forgo the hazards associated with driving - why go halfway and only ban driving with a cell phone.

It may seem ridiculous, but this is the way that seatbelts were first proposed (to save the lives of air force pilots). The cost to the health region of driving, MVA care, pollution, and lost time accidents for employees is huge.

I personally lived car free (I had acess to a car from time to time) for a year and a half in Calgary - it was very nice.
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Old 01-19-08, 06:27 PM   #9
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http://www.trl.co.uk/store/report_de...d=6176&pid=108 contains useful info on the subject of mobile phones, use of which may put you in a cell, but only if you kill someone and are really unlucky

Last edited by atbman; 02-02-08 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 01-20-08, 08:34 AM   #10
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Forgive me for not having the links handy, but there are ways of enforcing such a ban. For GPS enabled phones, there is a service which will selectively block the cell phone while it is in motion over a set speed.

Or you can go lo-tech, with 1-800-CRY-BABY (my term) bumper stickers, urging folks to call in with a complement or concern. The ones we have at work are large, about 6 inches by 24 inches, and use the license number for reference. We get about 150 calls a year on a 1200 vehicle fleet.
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Old 01-20-08, 09:13 AM   #11
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Forgive me for not having the links handy, but there are ways of enforcing such a ban. For GPS enabled phones, there is a service which will selectively block the cell phone while it is in motion over a set speed.

Or you can go lo-tech, with 1-800-CRY-BABY (my term) bumper stickers, urging folks to call in with a complement or concern. The ones we have at work are large, about 6 inches by 24 inches, and use the license number for reference. We get about 150 calls a year on a 1200 vehicle fleet.
I saw a bumper sticker the other day that read "How's my driving? Call 1-800-EAT-*****"
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Old 01-20-08, 09:59 AM   #12
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I saw a bumper sticker the other day that read "How's my driving? Call 1-800-EAT-*****"
Another possibility for BF's ranters about cell phones is to whack all cell phone users with their handbag when within range! Any contact is proof the cell phone user is guilty of whatever crime is charged by the whacker.
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Old 01-20-08, 02:57 PM   #13
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Forgive me for not having the links handy, but there are ways of enforcing such a ban. For GPS enabled phones, there is a service which will selectively block the cell phone while it is in motion over a set speed.
Which you can just use a device to render the GPS useless.

Anyway, while cell phones are dangerous, the amounts of idiots that seem to pass the DMV test somehow are dangerous on their own.
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