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Journal of Public Health Management & Practice:
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e3181c65534
Article

Business Process Improvement: An Electronic System to Monitor Compliance With Medical Resident Work Hours

Landesman, Linda Young DrPH, MSW; Markowitz, Forest BA; Conde, Nelson MPA

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Abstract

The limitation of medical intern and resident work hours, known as the Bell 405 regulations, was initiated in New York State in 1989 with a modification to the state hospital code. The Bell 405 regulations were strengthened in 2000, and facilities would now be fined for noncompliance. Monitoring systems in place at that time were insufficient to provide an adequate level of review for the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) with more than 7 000 medical residents whose training is based at or who rotate through these public hospitals. A “simple to use,” yet comprehensive, method of monitoring compliance needed to be developed to ensure that residents and interns complied with laws regulating working hours. The subsequent development of national accreditation standards increased the stakes for reliable scrutiny. HHC developed and implemented a Web-based Structured Query Language (SQL) application that facilitated easy access to work hour surveys captured through electronic time sheets. The time sheet data automatically entered a database that provided instant analysis of conformance to state law. The development of an electronic on-line application accessible from anywhere allowed HHC to efficiently identify nonconformance and pinpoint corrective action. Since the inception of the application and its expansion allowing access through the intranet, 26 000 individual time sheets have been submitted for evaluation. With the national movement regulating work hours, other hospitals still at the pencil and manual computation stage would greatly benefit by developing a similar application.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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