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Limiting Residents' Hours Has Little Impact on Patient Mortality
Date:9/4/2007

idents are probably less overtaxed than in non-VA hospitals, so it's possible that this type of reform might be more effective in a setting in which residents are not running around like crazy," he continued. "A third reason is that there's much better information systems within the VA, so things like the problems with continuity of care may have been less problematic."

Diane Pinakiewicz, president of the National Patient Safety Foundation, said, "We all understand from all the work that's been done in aviation and other fields that [fatigue] is a work force issue that plays a role in error and we have to do something about it. The question is what is the best thing to do. We have to figure out a way to optimize work force hours better than we have."

A third study in the journal found that Canadian physicians who fared poorly on the patient-physician communication segment of the national licensing exam were the subject of more complaints on issues such as communication or quality-of-care. The authors suggested that licensing exams could be modified to pinpoint these attributes more efficiently and earlier in the process.

Finally, another study found that about 75 percent of medical residents said they didn't understand the statistics they read in medical journals, statistics that are necessary to provide the best and most current care for patients.

More information

The National Patient Safety Foundation has more on patient safety.



SOURCES: Kevin G. Volpp, M.D., Ph.D., staff physician and core faculty member, Center for Health Equity, Research and Promotion, Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and assistant professor of medicine and health care systems, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Wharton School of Business, Philadelphia; Diane Pinakiewicz, president, National Patient Safety Foundation, No
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