Effects of resident duty hour reform on surgical and procedural patient safety indicators among hospitalized Veterans Health Administration and Medicare patients.
This study adds to a growing body of data demonstrating that duty hours reforms have not adversely affected clinical outcomes or patient safety. The authors compared patient safety events (as measured by the AHRQ Patient Safety Indicators) before and after reduction of resident duty hours and found no significant change in surgical or procedural adverse events. Prior studies found no changes in mortality rates, self-reported errors, or trainee case volume after implementation of duty hours regulations, but other studies have shown reduced satisfaction with education and concerns about worsened continuity of care. Recent Institute of Medicine recommendations on residency work hours emphasized the need to maintain a balance between educational objectives and patient safety.