• Study
  • Published March 2008

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education's limits on residents' work hours and patient safety.

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The patient safety effects of 2003 regulations reducing housestaff work hours have yet to be determined, although emerging evidence indicates that clinical outcomes have been unaffected. This survey queried residents before and after implementation of the work hour regulations regarding their experiences with medical errors, and found that self-reported errors did not decrease even when work hours were significantly reduced. This finding is similar to a previous study. Interestingly, despite considerable concern that reducing work hours would lead to increased discontinuity in patient care, residents did not feel that errors due to handoffs or cross-coverage increased after their work hours were reduced.

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