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Do Overworked Doctors Put Patients at Risk?

Overworked doctors are putting patients at risk for medical errors and other lapses in care, according to a recent study. In fact, researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that nearly half of all doctors surveyed expressed concerns about their excessive workloads.

The survey included a total of 506 hospital-based doctors who were surveyed using a popular medical networking website. They were asked whether they experienced a heavy workload and what type of impact it had on patient safety and quality-of-care measures.

As San Diego medical malpractice lawyers, the results of the study are concerning. Overall, 40 percent of doctors indicated that they believe that the number of patients that visited them over a period of one month often exceeded safe levels. Even more alarming, 5 percent of the physicians surveyed revealed that the heavy workload might have contributed to at least one death over the year.

As the researchers explain, “Hospitalists frequently reported that excess workload prevented them from fully discussing treatment options, caused delay in patient admissions and/or discharges, and worsened patient satisfaction. Over 20 percent reported that their average workload likely contributed to patient transfers, morbidity, or even mortality.”

Although efforts have been made to address reduce the number of hours worked by physicians, this study highlights that they are still overburdened. Moreover, it is leading to potentially fatal medical mistakes.

Source: Medical News Today