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Eur J Public Health. 2017 Dec 1;27(6):960-965. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckx072.

Impact of resident and fellow changeovers on patient outcomes: a nationwide cross-sectional study.

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Department of Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Saint-Antoine Hospital, APHP, Paris, France.
Department of Proctology, Croix Saint-Simon Hospital, Paris, France.
Department of Medical Information, CH de Marne la Vallée, Jossigny, France.
Department of General and Digestive Surgery, Saint-Antoine Hospital, APHP, Paris, France.
University Paris VI, Paris, France.



Findings regarding the association of cohort changeovers with patient outcomes are mixed. We sought to examine the association of resident and fellow changeovers with a comprehensive set of indicators.


We performed a cross-sectional comparative study including all French teaching and non-teaching hospitals. All-cause mortality and length of stay were assessed. Focused analysis for three medical conditions (myocardial infarction, intestinal hemorrhage, stroke) and three surgical procedures (colorectal, vascular and spine surgery) was performed regarding other quality and efficiency indicators (readmissions, intensive care unit admission, transfers).


Overall, 34 330 716 patients were admitted in 2011 and 2012. Within the month following cohort changeovers, no increase in mortality was observed in teaching hospitals. Length of stay was longer in May and November in teaching hospitals (P < 0.0001) whereas it was shorter in the private sector. When focusing on six selected causes of hospitalization, we observed significant differences associated with resident changeovers, suggesting a decreased efficiency. In particular, readmissions rates and lengths of stay were found to be significantly higher (P < 0.0005) after intestinal hemorrhage and with a trend toward worse efficiency (P < 0.005) after colorectal surgery and stroke in teaching hospitals.


Our findings provide some reassurance regarding cohort changeover and mortality even if they suggest a loss of efficiency in some cases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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