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Advocacy Brief: Duty Hours

An editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine's May 21 edition on the IOM's duty hours recommendations:

A study in the NEJM estimated that it would cost $1.6 billion per year to implement the Institute of Medicine's recommendations in its December report. Further, the authors state that the patient safety implications are unknown.

An editorial in the same issue of NEJM, "To Nap or Not to Nap: Residents' Work Hours Revisited," stated: "The IOM committee urged rapid implementation of their recommendations. We strongly disagree. In this era of evidence-based medicine and comparative effectiveness, such a major policy change should be based not only on the recommendations of an expert committee but also on careful studies and evidence that improvements in both patient and educational outcomes will result. To date, the necessary research has not been done and the evidence of benefit is lacking."

Back to June 2009 Issue of IMpact

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