Graduate medical education (GME) trainees have a unique perspective from which to identify and report patient safety concerns. However, it is not known how safety reports submitted by GME trainees differ from those submitted by other clinical staff. We hypothesized that GME trainees were more likely to submit safety reports regarding transitions of care, delays in care, and lapses in communication, and reports of higher severity compared with other frontline staff such as nurses, pharmacists, and other providers.
Patient safety reports submitted by clinical staff for 1 year at an academic tertiary care children’s hospital were retrospectively reviewed and categorized by reporter type. Severity level and event type were analyzed by reporter type, and repeat χ2 tests were used to compare the percentage of reports at each severity level and in each event type submitted by GME trainees compared with each other reporter type.
Graduate medical education trainees submitted reports of greater severity (level E/F/G) compared with nurses (10% versus 5%, P = 0.021) and pharmacists (10% versus 2%, P = 0.001). A greater percent of GME trainees’ reports were categorized as errors in transitions of care, diagnosis, ordering, laboratory collection, and care delays compared with several other reporter types.
Graduate medical education trainees identify system vulnerabilities not detected by other personnel, supporting efforts to increase safety reporting by GME trainees.