Residency

News and briefs: TJC warns of extended hour dangers

Residency Program Insider, December 20, 2011

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The Joint Commission (TJC) spoke out last week against extended work hours for physicians. The latest Sentinel Event Alert warns organizations inadequate amounts of sleep can lead to fatigue-induced danger such as lapses in attention and focus, compromised problem solving skills, diminished reaction time and slowed or faulty information processing and judgment.

ACGME standards set resident duty hour restrictions at 30 hours per shift and an average of 80 hours per week over a four-week period. All PGY1 residents are limited to 16 hours of continuous work time.

T JC says despite a recent focus on resident physician duty hours, studies suggest risks to patient safety and personal injury for health care workers remains high. Health care workers crossing the 12-hour threshold show increased susceptibility to risk.

TJC cited nine evidence-based actions for organizations to combat the risks of fatigue and help protect patients against potential harm. To read what they are, click here.



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