During this week between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, we all have the opportunity to get comfortable with the new gifts and gadgets we might have received, and to think forward to 2013. Characteristically, this time of year many of us are thinking about our New Year’s resolutions.
I’m sure many of our employees, and others, are thinking of the usual New Year’s resolutions: lose weight, get more exercise, spend more time with family and friends, pick up a new hobby, organize and clean out the rest of our lives.
I would like to propose at least one New Year’s resolution for everyone at University Hospital. Every day, as all of us walk around our hospital and out-patient areas, we see individual’s texting on their iPhone and iPads while walking. Usually this occurs with a head down, not really watching where they are going. It is not infrequent that many of us have bumped into another individual as either we didn’t see them or they didn’t see us. This habit of walking while texting, or as others have called it, “walking while intexticated” has become a widespread national problem. Many towns and townships have recently outlawed this practice. Many townships have put fines in place for individuals crossing streets while texting. There are reports of thousands of injuries every year resulting in Emergency Department visits because distracted walkers fall and hurt themselves, are struck crossing the street, or suffer other injuries due to their distraction.
We also know from recent employee surveys that we have some work to do to ensure that University Hospital is a friendly place, where caring and respect for each other are the norm. Walking while intexticated also keeps us from the pleasant “hello”, and human interaction that will help ensure such respect and friendliness as the norm.
I, therefore, would like to request that all of us at University Hospital make one of our New Year’s resolutions to stop walking while intexticated. Let us put our iPhones, iPads, and Androids aside as we walk through our campus. Lets everyone vow to keep their heads up, and offer a friendly hello to those whom we pass. This could certainly result in fewer injuries, a friendlier environment, and an improved sense of family. Let’s all try this for the month of January and see what happens. We might find that doing one thing at a time (i.e. walking), rather than always trying to do two or more things simultaneously becomes a habit that we can all live with.
Best wishes for a safe and happy New Year’s!