17 May More inclusions and new studies!
We’re delighted to see our inclusion numbers steadily increasing, now with nine departments in five hospitals collaborating and even more people willing to join. We are increasing our capacity to be able to fulfill these requests.
Some months ago, the landmark First Trial has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine. In this US nationwide trial, residents were randomized to either adhere to standard work hour policies, or to a more flexible schedule with the same maximum amount of hours per week. No differences were observed concerning patient safety, although the intervention group was more satisfied with the continuity of care they were able to provide. However, they also reported having less opportunity to rest and decreased social activity.
While applauded (and criticized) for the trial design, the authors advocate a more flexible design of work hours. The FTOP Studygroup generally agrees. However; since there was no difference in patient safety outcomes, the conclusion might as well be orientated in the exact opposite direction. Just as Dr. Birkmayer concludes in an editorial, we too think that it is imperative to first improve logisitics and safety on handovers and decrease administrative load before going back to the old paradigm of working long hours. Untill we fix the system, which should less be dependent upon human factors, we consider an alteration of work hours in the wrong direction a step back in history. Moreover, we would like to emphasize that resident-specific measures in the First trial again have been investigated using largely subjective methods. The Fit To Perform Study has developed an objective, fast self-test for this which is applicable in the daily clinical situation.