July the Worst Month to Be Hospitalized: Study

Study finds that patient death rates increase in July

By Lauren Steussy
|  Wednesday, Jul 13, 2011  |  Updated 11:56 AM PDT
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The Worst Month to Be Hospitalized

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If you must get hurt, best wait till August.

A recent study found that July is the worst month for patient care in hospitals.

The reason is that as experienced medical students have left, hospitals are left with new students who are caring for their first patients, according to an article in TIME Magazine.

The study found that patient death rates increase while efficiency in patient care decreases in July. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco observed teaching hospitals,and confirmed what doctor’s have long known as the "July Effect."

A common mistake made among new medical students is to prescribe patients the wrong medicine. They are not yet familiar with the hospitals’ pharmacy system, according to the study.

A proposed solution to the July Effect is to schedule the most experienced physicians on-call during July. The study also suggested that hospitals run in-depth orientation programs to better educate the students on respective hospital policies, pharmacy systems and procedures.
 

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