Is July A Dangerous Month To Be In A Hospital?

July 8, 2019

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Here's some news you didn't want to hear! Hospitals are more dangerous for your health in July than any other month of the year! While you'd think it's because of the increase in summer traveling or excessive "hold my beer and watch this" accidents due to long, hot days, the "July effect" is true in that mortality rates are higher in many hospitals this month and it comes down to staffing changes.  Although the academic year for most students does not begin until August, medical residencies generally begin July 1. That's a big staffing change and with anything new disrupting routine, the risk of an error is higher until the new staff gets into that routine. However hospitals are away of the "July effect" and many give their new residents extra training and make sure that they have plenty of supervision when they’re new to the job. But you can decrease those transitional changes mis-steps by being proactive if you or a loved one fine themselves in a hospital. Ask lots of questions to be sure that you understand what’s going on and why. Also know that while residents are transitioning, most nurses and medical personnel do not, which means you can talk to them as well to ensure the care is proper.  Also keep in mind that the "July effect" specifically applies to teaching hospitals. One doctor who has studied the effect notes that “the quality of care people receive in teaching hospitals is generally better, so even if there is a decrease, you can still expect to receive great care.”

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SOURCE: Lifehacker

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