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Survey on Surgeons Making Errors – Are Locum Tenens, Medical Migrants A Contributing Factor?

Posted Nov 23 2009 10:01pm

There are a lot of surgeons doing this where they travel from one hospital to another, so get your records on a PHR so you are ready for this in case it happens to you.  They of course do their best but when they travel from one location to another and have to rely on paper records that they can’t preview and review ahead of time, well I don’t have to explain much there, it’s just less time. image

Medical migrants - “locum tenens” Healthcare on Temporary Assignment

There is a shortage on general surgeons, so we have this:

Surgeon Shortage Pushes Hospitals to Hire Temps – Scalpel Services

“Staffing agencies estimate that at least 1 in 20 of America's 17,000 general surgeons now work on a temporary basis some or all of the time. Full-time temporary surgeons can earn $250,000 or more a year, in some cases nearly twice as much as in private practice. That's largely because they don't have to pay overhead costs anymore.”

Kaiser Permanente uses locum tenens and Kelly Services has a section of their agency devoted to placing them.   With all the medical migrants we have today, maybe this is why we have this:

Most Hospital Patients Unable to Identify Their Physicians – Survey

Anyway, in summary perhaps this is adding to the error rates we see, again the surgeons have to focus on their travel as well as their patients to make sure they get there on time and have enough data and information to review each case before surgery.  

One More Good Reason for PHRs and EHRs – Temporary and Mobile Healthcare Workers

This makes on heck of a case for a PHR doesn’t it?  BD 

A survey to measure burnout and quality of life among surgeons turned up a detail that caught our eye: Nine percent of surgeons said they were concerned they had made a “major medical error” in the past three months.

The authors of the paper, published by the Annals of Surgery, point to why this is noteworthy.

Nine Percent of Surgeons Have Made ‘Major’ Errors Recently - Health Blog - WSJ

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