Healthcare News & Insights

More proof: New residents are killing your patients

Recent research lends credence to the belief that the influx of new residents each summer increases the risk to patients.

According to the study, patient deaths from medication errors spike 10% above normal rates each July — and only in counties with teaching hospitals. And the death rate increases proportionally with the number of teaching hospitals in the county.

The study’s authors recommend hospitals re-evaluate the responsibilities given to new residents, increase supervision and make an effort to improve education regarding medication safety.

The study was done by researchers from the University of California San Diego, who looked at more than 68 million death certificates issued in the U.S. between 1979 and 2006. They eventually focused on deaths due to medication errors.

The study found no similar spike in summertime deaths outside of a hospital, or deaths from other causes within hospitals.

The study was published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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