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Installing more of a safety net for new physicians

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The Wall Street Journal reports that “{t}o make sure  {medical} residents ask for help from a senior doctor, more hospitals are developing formal ‘escalation-of-care’ policies with clear guidelines on when it’s time to call one. Residents may fail to ask for help due to overconfidence, lack of knowledge or fear of seeming incompetent, studies show.”

The paper notes “Escalation-of-care guidelines are part of a broader effort to improve the way residents are trained and change a medical culture that sometimes fosters intimidation of new residents by senior physicians.”

It looks at how four Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospitals have developed new communication standards and issued residents a pocket card “listing 15 situations that require prompt notification or approval of a senior colleague, such as a patient’s transfer to the intensive-care unit.”

To read the WSJ story, please hit this link.


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