Several medical school faculty members and I were talking this week at the American Academy of Family Physicians’ national meeting. They confirmed that medical students and residents still do much of the “scut work” in the hospitals where they are trained. Some hospitals have evaluated the cost of training vs. the money saved by (very) cheap labor, and come to the realization that doctors in training save them tons of money over paid staff.
Just another reason to consider or re-consider funding for medical education in State and Federal budgets!
Health professionals working on a temporary basis in emergency departments are twice as likely to make medication errors that harm patients, says a study of nearly 24,000 drug mix-ups at 592 U.S. hospitals.
Most of the temp workers’ mistakes were administration mix-ups made by nursing staff, who accounted for 76% of the errors. Physicians were responsible for 21% of the mix-ups, and other health professionals accounted for the rest.