Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Standardizing handoffs may reduce errors by 40 percent
A new patient safety and medical education initiative, standardizing and improving how patient care is "handed off" during hospital shift changes, can reduce medical errors by as much as 40 percent, physicians reported during the recent Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in Boston.
The initiative, called I-PASS, was developed at Boston Children's Hospital and is being implemented and tested in 10 pediatric training programs across North America, including the residency training program at Boston Children's. The curriculum seeks to improve communication during residents' shift changes, ensuring that incoming doctors are briefed thoroughly and accurately on each patient's medical history, status and treatment plan.
Neurosurgery complications rise as duty-hours drop
Restrictions on the number of hours neurosurgical residents are allowed to work is associated with an increase in complication rates, but no change in mortality rates, at teaching hospitals, a study has found.
Researchers believe the increase in complications witnessed at teaching hospitals occurred because of duty-hour restrictions implemented in 2003 by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). View an abstract of the study, which appeared in the January issue of the journal Neurosurgery.
The findings were discussed in April during the 80th annual Scientific Meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS).
Brian Hoh, MD, associate professor of neurological surgery at the University of Florida in Gainesville, reported on the study during the AANS meeting. In an interview with Medscape Today News (registration required), Dr. Hoh speculated that "duty-hour restrictions have resulted in increased transfers of care, and these transfers of care are the strongest predictor for potentially preventable adverse patient events."
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