Teaching Hospital Experiences More Deaths In Summer
Your local teaching hospital sees a decrease in efficiency and an increase in patient deaths every July according to research from the July 12 online edition of the Annals of Internal Medicine.
July is the month when teaching hospitals typically undergo massive medical resident turnover.
In a report by the HealthDayReporter, researchers analyzed 39 studies conducted between 1989 and 2010 that looked at a phenomenon commonly known as the "July Effect." Often, experienced medical residents are replaced by new, but less experienced interns during July.
Results saw patient fatality rates go up during July staff changeovers, while care efficiency went down. Still, researchers stress that additional research is necessary as it was difficult to determine the exact causes for such trends, and the degree to which patient care might be compromised. In addition, the authors could not pinpoint which types of teaching hospitals are the most vulnerable to staff turnover.
Changeovers in July involve about 100,000 medical staff in the United States and 32,000 in Europe each year, according to the researchers.
Dr. John Q. Young, the study author and the associate program director of the residency training program within the department of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco's School of Medicine told HealthDayReporter, “Our study is a signal that there is increased risk at this time. That's the bottom line, and it's something that patients should be aware of.”