Regulation of residents’ hours makes patient handoffs a source of error. This is a problem in the UK as well:

Agreeing that missing information could sometimes put patients at risk, he said: “If you don’t follow up on certain test results or if you are not aware of certain conditions that have been discovered then you can miss the opportunity to do something about it.”

Another problem his research uncovered was that sometimes on call staff were simply not made aware that patients had been admitted at all.

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  • gasman

    Here is a phrase I want to banish.
    “I’m just cross covering for this patient”

    If uttered, the speaker should be put in stocks in front of the hospital.

    We’ve provided residents with shortened workweeks, limited the length of individual shifts, and protected them from work demands in other ways, and they have the audacity to not transition the care of their patients satisfactorily before leaving.

    The idea that one is cross-covering for a patient can no longer exist. Care must be a team approach and every individual on that team must be capable of assuming full responsibility at any moment. Residents must recognize this and residency programs must drive it home.