Impact of Attending Physician Workload on Patient Care: A Survey of Hospitalists

Source: Henry J. Michtalik, Hsin-Chieh Yeh, Peter J. Pronovost, Daniel J. Brotman, JAMA Internal Mededicine, Published online January 28, 2013
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Up to 98 000 patients die each year in the hospital as a result of preventable medical errors. Most errors are caused by well-intentioned individuals working within faulty systems, processes, or conditions. One such condition is excess clinical workload. For resident physicians, workload so heavy as to result in physician fatigue is associated with increased medical errors and has led to the implementation of work-hour restrictions. For nurses, a recent cross-sectional analysis showed a significant association between patient mortality and low staffing. Fourteen states have enacted legislation and/or adopted regulations to address nurse staffing.