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.
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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