Patient Safety in the Era of the 80-Hour Workweek.
ABSTRACT In 2003, duty-hour regulations (DHR) were initially implemented for residents in the United States to improve patient safety and protect resident's well-being. The effect of DHR on patient safety remains unclear. The study objective was to evaluate the effect of DHR on patient safety.
Using an interrupted time series analysis, we analyzed selected patient safety indicators (PSIs) for 376 million discharges in teaching (T) vs nonteaching (NT) hospitals before and after implementation of DHR in 2003 that restricted resident work hours to 80 hours per week. The PSIs evaluated were postoperative pulmonary embolus or deep venous thrombosis (PEDVT), iatrogenic pneumothorax (PTx), accidental puncture or laceration, postoperative wound dehiscence (WD), postoperative hemorrhage or hematoma, and postoperative physiologic or metabolic derangement. Propensity scores were used to adjust for differences in patient comorbidities between T and NT hospitals and between discharge quarters. The primary outcomes were differences in the PSI rates before and after DHR implementation. The PSI differences between T and NT institutions were the secondary outcome.
T and NT hospitals in the United States.
Participants were 376 million patient discharges from 1998 to 2007 in the Nationwide Inpatient Sample.
Declining rates of PTx in both T and NT hospitals preintervention slowed only in T hospitals postintervention (p = 0.04). Increasing PEDVT rates in both T and NT hospitals increased further only in NT hospitals (p = 0.01). There were no differences in the PSI rates over time for hemorrhage or hematoma, physiologic or metabolic derangement, accidental puncture or laceration, or WD. T hospitals had higher rates than NT hospitals both preintervention and postintervention for all the PSIs except WD.
Trends in rates for 2 of the 6 PSIs changed significantly after DHR implementation, with PTx rates worsening in T hospitals and PEDVT rates worsening in NT hospitals. Lack of consistent patterns of change suggests no measurable effect of the policy change on these PSIs.
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ABSTRACT: Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education work-hour restrictions are aimed at improving patient safety and resident well-being. Although surgical trainees will be dramatically affected by these changes, no comprehensive assessment of their well-being has been recently attempted. A multicenter study of psychological well-being of surgical residents (n = 108) across four US training programs before implementation of the 80-hour work week was performed using two validated surveys (Symptom Checklist-90-R [SCL-90-R] and Perceived Stress Scale [PSS]) during academic year 2002-03. Societal normative populations served as controls. Primary outcomes measures were psychologic distress (SCL-90-R) and perceived stress (PSS). Secondary outcomes measures (SCL-90-R) were somatization, depression, anxiety, interpersonal sensitivity, hostility, obsessive-compulsive behavior, phobic anxiety, paranoid ideation, and psychoticism. The impact of personal variables (age, gender, marital status) and programmatic variables (level of training, laboratory experience, institution) was assessed. Mean psychologic distress was significantly higher in general surgery residents than in the normative population (p < 0.0001), with 38% scoring above the 90th percentile and 72% above the 50th percentile. Mean perceived stress among surgery residents was higher than historic controls (p < 0.0001), with 21% scoring above the 90th percentile and 68% above the 50th percentile. Among secondary outcomes, eight of nine symptom dimensions were significantly higher in surgical residents than in societal controls. In subgroup analyses, male gender was associated with phobic anxiety (p < 0.001) and anxiety (p < 0.05), and junior level of training (PGY 1 to 3) with anxiety (p < 0.05), obsessive-compulsive behavior (p < 0.05), and interpersonal sensitivity (p < 0.05). More than one-third of general surgery residents meet criteria for clinical psychologic distress. Surgery residents perceive significantly more stress than societal controls. Both personal and programmatic variables likely affect resident well-being and should be considered in assessing the full impact of Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education directives and in guiding future restructuring efforts.Journal of the American College of Surgeons 04/2004; 198(4):633-40. DOI:10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2003.10.006 · 4.45 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) mandated new work hours rules for all residency programs in July 2003. To critically evaluate the evidence that adhering to the ACGME standards will improve patient safety. Searches of electronic databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, PREMEDLINE, and Current Contents) and other methods to identify the English-language literature for studies on resident work hours for the years 1966 to 2004. Studies that assessed a system change designed to counteract the effects of work hours, fatigue, or sleep deprivation and that included an outcome related to patient safety were included. Seven studies met these criteria. Two investigators abstracted data from all included studies by using a standard data abstraction form; each study was rated according to established criteria to assess study design quality. Interventions used were float systems, other cross-coverage systems, or unspecified schedule changes. Outcomes included mortality, adverse events, and medication errors. The results suggest that introducing such interventions has an unclear effect on selected patient safety indicators. Specifically, some indicators (such as mortality) may not change after interventions, while other indicators may improve or worsen. This analysis is limited by the study designs of the included studies, the diversity of interventions in the studies, and the possibility of publication bias favoring studies that demonstrated statistically significant differences. Evidence on patient safety is insufficient to inform the process of reducing resident work hours.Annals of internal medicine 01/2005; 141(11):851-7. · 16.10 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: There has been much concern regarding the impact of work-hour reforms on the operative case volume of surgical residents. Operative case volume by PGY year and clinical rotation were examined to determine if changes in work hours affected residents' operative case volume. A careful but aggressive plan of work-hour reduction was devised for the residency of the authors' institution with the goal to decrease work hours while maintaining optimal patient care and resident education, including operative case volume. Changes made included hiring physician extenders (PEs), decreasing call schedules to every fourth night (with the next day free from clinical activities-Q4) or call from home (HC), and night float rotation coverage for services (NF). Case volume before (academic year 2002) and after (academic year 2003) changes were compared by PGY year, for all residents and for specific rotations-private general surgery, which had changes of PE, HC, and NF for PGY5; PE, Q4 and NF for PGY1 and 10% exemption for work hours; Churchill service (a resident-run ward teaching service), which had changes of PE and Q4 for PGY5 and PGY1 and 10% exemption for work hours; and vascular surgery, which had HC and NF for PGY5. Total case volume on these services was likewise compared. Statistical analysis was by student t test. Operative case volume was measured with data from the resident-entered information on the ACGME Surgical Operative Log (SOL). Case volume for PGY4 residents could not be compared over this time period because of lack of access to archived data by PGY year for graduated residents through the ACGME SOL. Work hours before and after rotation changes were measured with an intranet-based monitoring system. This article is a retrospective review of the affects of these work-hour changes on operative case volume. Total case volume for the general surgical services (both private and Churchill) was unchanged over this period (5905 in 02, 5930 in 03), and likewise for the vascular service (1101 vs 1196). Overall, there was no change in mean operative volume per year for surgical residents in this program (231 cases in 2002, 246 cases in 2003; p = 0.61). For PGY5 residents, the case volume increased; 339 cases 02, 390 in 03, and p = 0.05. Mean case volume for PGY5 residents increased on the private general surgery service (136 in 02, 160 in 03, p = 0.03), but it remained stable on the Churchill service (137 in 02, 158 in 03, p = 0.39) and vascular service (65 in 02, 73 in 03, p = 0.42). For PGY3 residents, case volume remained stable (171 in 02, 187 in 03, p = 0.62), as it did for PGY2 and PGY1 residents (PGY2: 148 in 02, 121 in 03, p = 0.12; PGY1: 265 in 02, 246 in 03, p = 0.23). However, operative case volume for PGY1 residents did decrease on the private general surgery service (mean 52 cases per month 02, 43 cases per month 03, p = 0.07), while remaining stable on the Churchill service (mean 23 cases per month 02, 25 cases per month 03, p = 0.66). Average hours worked per week decreased significantly over the time period. Before work-hour reforms, residents' average work hours were as follows: PGY1 105, PGY2 97, PGY3 78.7, PGY4 111, and PGY5 92. After the changes, average work hours were PGY1 81.5, PGY2 77.7, PGY3 78.7, PGY4 75.5, and PGY5 75.9. Work-hour limitation can be devised to maximize resident education, optimize patient care, and maintain resident operative volume. Although some changes (HC, PE, NF) seemed to increase the operative case volume for PGY5 residents, others had no effect (Q4, HC). There does not seem to be a clear relationship between types of changes and case volume. At the PGY1 level, Q4 and PE changes decreased operative experience on 1 rotation but not on another, although the difference in this decrease seems clinically insignificant. Individualization of changes to meet the needs of specific rotations seems more important than specific changes in coverage pattern. Perhaps the most important finding is that changes can be made to bring work hours into compliance without materially effecting operative case volume.Current Surgery 09/2005; 62(5):535-8. DOI:10.1016/j.cursur.2005.04.001