Dr. Kim Eagle, the Albion Walter Hewlett Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and his team are saying that the qualities of service provided by resident doctors who have few hours of rest are compromised. The study was mainly conducted to support new restrictions on U.S. medical residents' work hours implemented since 2003. The findings were presented this week at the American Heart Association's 7th Scientific Forum on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke, in Washington D.C.
It was found that resident doctors who worked fewer hours provided better care for their heart patients. The new rules are beneficial for both the doctor and the patient. Institution of duty hours is infact raising the quality of service in patient care. Ingrid Philibert, director of field activities at the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), was the person responsible for penning down the guidelines. According to the ACGME the new guidelines states that the maximum working hours for residents to be about 80 hours in a week. This is because long hours of work left the resident doctors tired and prone to making dangerous medical errors.
But some feel that this decision would affect the care and lead to poor efficiency. Hence they analyzed 1,000 patients suffering from Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) who were admitted to the University of Michigan hospital. The researchers compared the results of the patients who were admitted to the hospital prior to the new duty-hour changes to that of the results of patients admitted after the changes. It was found that though there were no differences in mortality rates there were improvements in levels of care and length of hospital stay decreased by slightly more than one day. In conclusion Philibert said that the new hours play a major role in delivering better care.