FATIGUE RISK MANAGEMENT

As both learners and front-line care providers in our health care system, medical residents are in a unique position. Fulfilling this dual role has meant that residents often spend lengthy consecutive hours on duty, providing patient care. The risk of fatigue is very real.

The risk varies between individuals and is heavily influenced by a variety of situational factors, including workload, hours of wakefulness, and both acute and chronic sleep deprivation. In 2013, the National Steering Committee on Resident Duty Hours released Canada’s first comprehensive, collaborative and evidence-based report on fatigue and duty hours for Canada’s approximately 9,000 resident doctors. The report stressed that a comprehensive approach is necessary in order to enhance safety and wellness outcomes. Fatigue risk management is a common theme throughout the Committee’s recommendations.

RDoC’s Role

RDoC advocates for properly calibrated fatigue risk management programs that will help to identify and mitigate fatigue-related risk at hospitals and universities, have a positive impact on patient safety, and improve resident health and wellness.

February 2016: Fatigue Risk Management Task Force Established
RDoC’s President was appointed co-chair of this task force. Its activities will support the overarching principle highlighted in the Fatigue, Risk and Excellence: Towards a Pan-Canadian Consensus on Resident Duty Hours report that a one-size-fits-all solution will not address the complex challenges of resident duty hours.

May 2014: CMA’s Management of Physician Fatigue
RDoC representatives were active members on the CMA Working Group on Physician Work Hours that developed this policy document PD14-09.

September 2013: Resident Perspectives on Duty Hours: Results of the 2012 National Resident Survey
RDoC presented this poster on duty hours at the International Conference on Residency Education (ICRE)

June 2013: Fatigue, Risk, & Excellence: Towards a Pan-Canadian Consensus on Resident Duty Hours
The National Steering Committee on Resident Duty Hours released their final report and recommendations on resident duty hours.

November 2012: National Resident Survey
RDoC’s national resident survey revealed that an important number of residents felt that work-related fatigue was contributing to errors on the job and played a factor behind involvement in dangerous incidents in motor vehicles.

August 2012: Delegate Motion on Duty Hours Approved
This landmark motion was presented and approved at the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) General Council Annual Meeting.

April 15 2012: Canadian Patient and Physician Safety and Wellbeing: Resident Duty Hours
RDoC released this position paper on resident duty hours.

April 15, 2012: Canadian Patient and Physician Safety and Wellbeing: Resident Duty Hours
RDoC presented this topic at the Canadian Conference on Medical Education (CCME) in Banff. It was developed by Dr. Vishal Bhella, Chair, Education and Professionalism Committee.

March 2012: National Collaborative Project on Duty Hours
RDoC became a partner in this national collaborative project on duty hours, facilitated by the National Steering Committee on Resident Duty Hours.

September 27, 2013: Resident Perspectives on Duty Hours: Results of the Canadian Association of Internes and Residents 2012 National Resident Survey
Drs. J. Harmon, M. Rayar, G. Shiau, V. Bhella, S. Moore, J. Bourque, G. Yeung, and J. Jaswal presented this poster at the International Conference on Residency Education (ICRE).

April 15, 2012: Canadian Patient and Physician Safety and Wellbeing: Resident Duty Hours
Dr. Vishal Bhella, Chair, Education and Professionalism Committee presented this paper at the Canadian Conference on Medical Education (CCME).

  • Facilitate, in partnership with stakeholders, the sharing of information and best practices on duty hours and fatigue management.
  • Develop resources for members on best practices in fatigue risk management.