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This piece reviews how changes to the ACGME requirements emphasize patient safety and quality improvement, address physician well-being, strengthen expectations around team-based care, and create flexibility for work hours within the maximum 80-hour workweek.
Dr. Bilimoria is the Director of the Surgical Outcomes and Quality Improvement Center of Northwestern University. He is the principal investigator of the Flexibility in Duty Hour Requirements for Surgical Trainees (FIRST) trial and a Faculty Scholar at the American College of Surgeons. We spoke with him about the FIRST trial, which examined how less restrictive duty hours affected patient outcomes and resident satisfaction. Its results informed recent changes to duty hour policies.
Christopher P. Landrigan, MD, MPH, of Brigham and Women's Hospital has performed key studies on how sleep deprivation affects clinicians and strategies to mitigate such fatigue to improve patient safety, including seminal articles published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2004 and 2010.
Emergency medicine has evolved from a location, with variably trained and experienced providers ("the ER"), to a discipline with a well-defined knowledge base and skill set that focus on the diagnosis and care of undifferentiated acute problems.(1) The importance of rapid diagnosis and treatment of serious conditions (e.g., myocardial infarction, stroke, trauma, and sepsis) has made timeliness not simply a determinant of patient satisfaction but also a significant safety and quality concern—delays in care can be deadly.(2) Emergency physicians (EPs) have identified delays caused by crowding fr
Pat Croskerry, MD, PhD, is a professor in emergency medicine at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Trained as an experimental psychologist, Dr. Croskerry went on to become an emergency medicine physician, and found himself surprised by the relatively scant amount of attention given to cognitive errors. He has gone on to become one of the world's foremost experts in safety in emergency medicine and in diagnostic errors. We spoke to him about both.
Thomas J. Nasca, MD, is the executive director and chief executive officer of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Prior to joining the ACGME in 2007, Dr. Nasca, a nephrologist, was dean of Jefferson Medical College and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs of Thomas Jefferson University. We asked him to speak with us about the role of the ACGME in patient safety.
In October 2004, in what immediately became a landmark paper in patient safety, Dr. Landrigan and his colleagues reported the results of their study on sleep deprivation and medical errors among interns. The AHRQ-funded study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, revealed 36% more serious errors and 5.6 times more serious diagnostic errors among interns working a traditional schedule of more than 24 hours in a row than among interns working shorter shifts (1). We spoke with Dr.