The Particulars: For patients who are hospitalized after presenting to the ED, adverse events resulting from medical errors made from emergency physicians have been documented. Factors associated with these events are not well known.
Data Breakdown: A prospective observational study of 197 patients who were seen in the ED and subsequently hospitalized detected 130 errors. Of these errors, 34 were categorized as adverse events. Of these adverse events, 66% were categorized as “proficiency errors.” A transition of care involving a handoff within the ED and involvement of a resident in addition to the senior physician were factors associated with a lower risk of adverse events.
Take Home Pearls: Involving more than one physician in the care of ED patients appears to be associated with a lower risk of adverse events. This potential benefit warrants investigation in larger prospective studies.
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