Tags: medical interns | doctor training | shift cutbacks | patient safety

Does Cutting Medical Intern Shifts Endanger Patients?

Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 07:46 AM

Cutting the number of hours that U.S. medical interns work in a single stretch may not improve patient care as had been hoped. Instead, the measure decreases interns' overall training time and may also increase patient risks, according to a new study.
 
New national rules introduced in 2011 reduced the continuous-duty hours of first-year resident physicians from 30 to 16 hours. This was done in the belief that shortening their continuous work hours would enable them to get more sleep and that less fatigue would reduce the number of serious medical errors made by residents.
 
This study found, however, that the changes did not increase the amount of sleep that interns got each week, and that there was a significant increase in the number of potentially dangerous handoffs of patients from one resident to another.
 
In addition, the changes led to a decline in the residents' training opportunities, such as participating in fewer beside "rounds," according to the study, which was published online March 25 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
 
The researchers said their findings suggest the new rules may have the unintended effects of making patients less safe and compromising resident training.
 
"The consequences of these sweeping regulations are potentially very serious," study leader Sanjay Desai, an assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in a university news release.
 
"Despite the best of intentions, the reduced work hours are handcuffing training programs, and benefits to patient safety and trainee well-being have not been systematically demonstrated," said Desai, who is also the director of the internal medicine residency program at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.
 
He said the 16-hour limit was put in place without evidence of whether it would improve patient safety and outcomes, and called for further research into its impact.
 
"We need a rigorous study," Desai said. "We need data to inform this critical issue."

© HealthDay

 
1Like our page
2Share
Health-News
Cutting the number of hours that U.S. medical interns work in a single stretch may not improve patient care as had been hoped. Instead, the measure decreases interns' overall training time and may also increase patient risks, according to a new study. New national rules...
medical interns,doctor training,shift cutbacks,patient safety
315
2013-46-26
Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 07:46 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical treatment or diagnosis. Read Newsmax Terms and Conditions of Service.

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved