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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Medical errors involving trainees: a study of closed malpractice claims from 5 insurers.

Singh H, Thomas EJ, Petersen LA, et al. Archives of internal medicine. 2007;167:2030-6.

This AHRQ-funded study uncovered distinctive features of errors involving trainees, including teamwork and communication breakdowns, failures of supervision and handoffs, and excessive workload. Building on a past study of closed malpractice claims, investigators conducted a subanalysis of those claims in which housestaff or fellows were thought to play an important role. As the claims predate the introduction of trainee work hour restrictions, the authors call for continued research into trainee errors and targeted training interventions to address current areas of concern. An accompanying editorial discusses a dramatically new model for inpatient care that would begin to address the problem areas identified in this study.