UCSF Study Backs Idea That Medical Errors Go Up in July
A new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine supports the common perception that medical errors and inefficiencies peak in July, when veteran residents check out of teaching hospitals and new medical school graduates check in. For the study, UC-San Francisco researchers and colleagues analyzed 39 published studies on the "July effect." They found that the most robust studies suggested that patient death rates at teaching hospitals increased between 8% and 34% in July and that patients admitted in July often face longer hospital stays, longer procedures and higher charges.
- "Risks: Perhaps July's Reputation Is Justified" (Rabin, New York Times, 7/11).
- "The July Effect: Why Summer Is the Most Dangerous Time To Go to the Hospital" (Park, "Healthland," Time, 7/12).
- "July Mortality Effect in Hospitals Is Real" (Kling, Medscape Today, 7/11).