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Acad Med. 2006 Jan;81(1):68-75.

Implementing duty-hour restrictions without diminishing patient care or education: can it be done?

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1
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 231 Albert Sabin Way, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0557, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To implement and evaluate a new ward team call system that would meet the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education's (ACGME) duty-hour requirements without compromising patient care or detracting from resident education.

METHOD:

The new system was implemented in the internal medicine residency program at the University Hospital at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. In 2003-04, residents and faculty were surveyed about their experiences with the new and old ward systems relative to duty-hour requirements, patient care, and resident education. Responses were given on a five-point scale (5 = strongly agree, 1 = strongly disagree). Data were compiled and compared using a two-sample t-test.

RESULTS:

Faculty believed the new system improved compliance with the duty-hour requirements (mean = 4.3, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 4.1-4.6), although were neutral regarding patient care (mean = 3.5, 95% CI: 3.2-3.8) and education (mean = 3.3, 95% CI: 2.9-3.6). Residents were more neutral regarding ACGME requirements (mean = 3.5, 95% CI: 3.3-3.7) and patient care (mean = 3.2, 95% CI 3.0-3.3). Residents reported a slightly negative impact on education (mean = 2.8, 95% CI: 2.5-3.0). In response to an exclusive question, residents reported that the new system did not reduce fatigue (mean = 2.7, 95% CI: 2.6-3.0).

CONCLUSIONS:

Respondents perceived that this ward call system met ACGME requirements and maintained quality patient care but may have sacrificed some traditional resident education tenets.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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