Surgical Residents’ Shift Length Not a Factor in Patient Safety

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

February 3, 2016

Giving surgical residents the choice to work longer shifts or take less time off between shifts does not create greater risks of health complications or death for their patients, according to a study in Tuesday's edition of The New England Journal of Medicine.

The first-ever national randomized trial of resident duty hours involving 117 general surgery residency programs and 151 hospitals fournd that less-restrictive policies are safe for patients, reduce complications arising from handoffs, and increase resident satisfaction, said study author Karl Bilimoria, MD. He is a faculty scholar at the American College of Surgeons and director of the Surgical Outcomes and Quality Improvement Center at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

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