The resident 80-hour workweek and the July phenomenon have raised concern regarding the continuity of care of orthopedic patients in teaching institutions and its effect on postoperative complications and mortality. This study examined the effect of resident work-hour restrictions and the July phenomenon on patient outcomes after hip fracture at a large academic institution. Seven hundred twenty-two patients (mean age, 76.7 years) sustaining 319 femoral neck fractures and 403 intertrochanteric fractures between 2000 and 2010 were identified. Analysis was performed before and after July 1, 2003, as well as for the month of treatment. No difference existed in the postoperative outcome measures of delay of surgery (P=.061), complications (P=.904), and mortality (P=.981) between patients treated before and after July 1, 2003. Patients treated after July 1, 2003, had a significantly higher median number of preoperative comorbidities (4 vs 3, respectively; P<.0005). Turnover months, July and August, showed no difference in the outcome measures of delay of surgery (P=.171), complications (P=.776), and mortality (P=.524) compared with other months. This study suggests that 80-hour workweek restrictions or resident turnover months have no effect on patient care with respect to in-hospital time to surgery, complications, and mortality. This success can be attributed to ancillary staff support, physician extenders, and well-designed patient care protocols.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine