In an interesting article in NEJM this week, researchers performed a sensitivity analysis of the cost of implementing the new IOM recommendations on work hour restrictions. The new recommendations include strict adherence to the 80 hour work week, 16 hour limit on continuous work, 5 hour protected naps for extended shifts, and reduced workload. For all ACGME-accredited programs, they estimated an annual labor cost of $1.6 billion to shift excess work from residents to other providers (abstract). Those are some expensive naps.
Dr. Scheurer is a clinical hospitalist and the Medical Director of Quality and Safety at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, and is Assistant Professor of Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, completed her residency at Duke University, and completed her Masters in Clinical Research at the Medical University of South Carolina. She also serves as the Web Editor and Physician Advisor for the Society of Hospital Medicine.