Health care facilities should take five steps to ensure staff aren’t becoming sleep fatigued, according to a Sentinel Event Alert from The Joint Commission.
Shift length and work schedules impact job performance, and in health care, that means patient safety, the alert stated. A study of 393 nurses over more than 5,300 shifts showed that nurses who work shifts of 12.5 hours or longer are three times more likely to make an error in patient care.
Furthermore, residents who work traditional schedules with recurrent 24-hour shifts:
–make 36 percent more serious preventable adverse events than individuals who work fewer than 16 consecutive hours,
–make five times as many serious diagnostic errors,
–have twice as many Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at ACP Hospitalist*
The American College of Graduate Medical Education has enacted further restrictions on resident work hours. No more than 80 hours per week of work for resident physicians, averaged over one month. And no more than 16 hours of continuous work for first year residents (24 after that), which includes patient care, academic lectures, etc.
Whenever they do this sort of thing, everyone seems excited that it will make everyone safer. After all, residents won’t be working as much, so they’ll be more rested and make much better decisions. It’s all ‘win-win,’ as physicians in training and patients alike are safer.
I guess. The problem of course is that after training, work hours aren’t restricted. There is no set limit on the amount of work a physician can be expected to do, especially in small solo practices, or practices in busy community hospitals.
I understand the imperative to let them rest. I understand that fatigue leads to mistakes. I get it! But does the ACGME get it? Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at edwinleap.com*
“I’m tired,” I recently told a friend. He looked at me with a hint of a smile and gave the obvious answer: “Then you need to rest.”
This simple yet elusive answer hit me squarely. I spend a large portion of my life being tired, yet I don’t know how to rest. Sure, I waste a lot of time doing things that are unproductive, but they’re more of a distraction or an escape — they aren’t about rest. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Musings of a Distractible Mind*