Navigation Links
1 in 5 Hospital Docs Reports 'Unsafe' Workloads: Study
Date:1/29/2013

By Denise Mann
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Ever had a hospital stay and felt neglected by harried, distracted doctors?

You may not be alone: A new study finds that four out of every 10 doctors working in U.S. hospitals say they are overworked, and one out of five says these jammed schedules could threaten patient safety.

According to the survey of more than 500 hospital-based doctors, 20 percent said their level of overwork could mean incomplete patient discussions, delayed diagnoses, ordering of unnecessary lab tests, medical errors and even patient death.

Fully 36 percent of doctors reported that these issues occur more than once a week.

The findings may be important to efforts aimed at reducing medical errors in the nation's hospitals. According to a landmark Institute of Medicine report issued in 2000, as many as 98,000 people die each year while in the hospital due to preventable medical errors.

"The new study recognizes that not only are [overworked doctors] a problem, but it's a very common problem that is experienced across the country in different types of hospitals with different kinds of patients," said study co-author Dr. Henry Michtalik, an assistant professor in the division of general internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.

"I was surprised by the high percentages," he said. "We did not expect the numbers to be minimal, but we did not expect them to be as high as 40 percent."

So how many hospital patients are considered too many for doctors? "More than 15 patients a shift is perceived as leading to greater potential of being unsafe," Michtalik said.

The findings, which appear in the Jan. 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, should spark a discussion about the constraints placed on doctors and how to best address them, he added.

Michtalik said numerous factors have come together to put the squeeze on already busy doctors. First of all are new limits placed on the hours that resident physicians (new doctors in training) can work, and some states have also passed laws that seek to fine-tune the nurses' working environment.

Although well-intentioned, these measures often lead to more work for doctors working in hospitals, Michtalik said.

Other factors are conspiring to increase physician workloads. The aging of the patient population and the complex nature of chronic diseases, as well as recent changes to the health care system may make this situation worse before it gets better, Michtalik said.

"The type of patients that come in through the emergency room tend to be more complex," he noted. "The straightforward ones are usually treated by their primary-care doctor as outpatients."

There is some truth to the findings, said Dr. Prakash Karki, co-director of a program at Union Hospital in Terre Haute, Ind., that is aimed at helping doctors working at the hospital.

"Our workload is changing and becoming more challenging," he said. Many subspecialists are doing less in-hospital work due to financial issues, which results in more responsibility for hospital-based physicians.

"We are becoming the jacks-of-all-trades," Karki said. What's more, "patients are older and coming to the hospital with more and more problems," he said. "A simple pneumonia patient may be out in three or four days, but we have patients with complications and infections that are resistant to antibiotics."

As far as how many patients per shift is too many, the new study may have set the bar too low, he said. "Fifteen patients is an easy day for us," Karki said. "We have some really busy days."

He agreed that these conditions could result in medical mistakes and preventable errors, including unnecessary patient deaths. The solution, Karki said, is that "we need more [hospital-based doctors] and legislation to help regulate our hours."

More information

There are tips on what you can do to safeguard your health after a hospital stay at the National Patient Safety Foundation.

SOURCES: Henry Michtalik, M.D., M.P.H., M.H.S., assistant professor, division of general internal medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore; Prakash Karki, M.D., co-director, hospitalist program, Union Hospital, Terre Haute, Ind.; Jan. 28, 2013, online, JAMA Internal Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. BrainTrain Announces Cognitive Training Software Giveaway to Veterans Hospitals
2. Baptist Health System Announces Expansion for North Central Baptist Hospital
3. Study: Transparent pricing doesnt curb doctors use of high-cost hospital imaging tests
4. Hospital Readmissions All Too Common, U.S. Studies Find
5. Corporate Whistle Blower Center Urges ER Physicians Or Hospital Staff To Turn In Hospitals Admitting Patients For Medicare Fraud For Huge Whistleblower Rewards
6. CareFusion, Baxter and Hospira Lead the Infusion Therapy Market as Hospitalization in the U.S. Climbs Reports iData Research
7. Mary Washington Healthcare to Host the National “Day of Dance for Your Health” with Over 75 Hospitals Nationwide
8. New Director of Hospitalist Medicine at Summit Medical Group
9. AMS Closes $97.6 Million FHA 242 Insured Mortgage Loan for Construction of New Orleans East Hospital
10. The Certified Nurse Midwives of Women’s Excellence in Midwifery, Chris Borowski and Tracie Achrem, end year 2012 with the first midwife birth at Crittenton Hospital located in Rochester, Michigan
11. Hospital infection surveillance system flawed, say experts
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
1 in 5 Hospital Docs Reports 'Unsafe' Workloads: Study
(Date:7/24/2017)... ... July 24, 2017 , ... Peruvian Ayahuasca retreat, ... be awarded annually to and divided between two full-time university students enrolled in ... Amazonian plant medicine. To apply for the scholarship, students are asked to submit ...
(Date:7/24/2017)... ... 24, 2017 , ... The Topricin Companies, formerly Topical Biomedics, ... revolutionary, natural, after-burn skin care product, Topricin After Burn Cream. , ... skin conditions, including cancer. In the short term, overexposure to sun, wind ...
(Date:7/24/2017)... Switzerland (PRWEB) , ... July 24, 2017 , ... Anyone ... to weigh a watermelon, nor would a pharmacist using that same scale to dispense ... risk someone’s health. , These illustrations show why it is important to have ...
(Date:7/24/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Paul Vitenas, MD, FACS is excited to report that he ... attend Allergan’s recent meeting with their Plastics Advisory Board. As one of the top ... bringing a newly defined structure to the aesthetics market. Dr. Vitenas , along ...
(Date:7/24/2017)... ... ... Summer storms are inevitable as weather temperatures in Philadelphia climb. These ... tree damage requiring emergency tree service. Giroud Tree and Lawn provides ... hazardous tree removal. , “A summer storm is like a bully on ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/5/2017)... 2017 Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... ), a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the development of ... approval from the Israel Securities Authority to dual-list its common ... stock will commence trading on the TASE on July 12, ... capitalization of the Company, it is expected that Oramed will ...
(Date:7/5/2017)...   BioLife Solutions , Inc. (NASDAQ: ... proprietary clinical grade cell and tissue hypothermic storage ... announced that it has reached an agreement with WAVI ... to modify its existing credit facility effective June 30, ... agreed to exchange its existing $4.25 million credit facility, ...
(Date:6/30/2017)... ROCKVILLE, Md. , June 30, 2017 ... that since the start of May, at least ten ... financings include private investments, public offerings and a loan ... $3.3 million to almost $80 million.  Kalorama Information provides ... customers of its Diagnostics Knowledge Center. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: