Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

All hospitals should require drug, alcohol tests for physicians, experts say

Date:
May 7, 2013
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Summary:
To improve patient safety, hospitals should randomly test physicians for drug and alcohol use in much the same way other major industries in the United States do to protect their customers.

To improve patient safety, hospitals should randomly test physicians for drug and alcohol use in much the same way other major industries in the United States do to protect their customers. The recommendation comes from two Johns Hopkins physicians and patient safety experts in a commentary published online April 29 in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Related Articles


In addition, the experts say, medical institutions should take a cue from other high-risk industries, like airlines, railways and nuclear power plants, and mandate that doctors be tested for drug or alcohol impairment immediately following an unexpected patient death or other significant event.

"Patients might be better protected from preventable harm. Physicians and employers may experience reduced absenteeism, unintentional adverse events, injuries, and turnover, and early identification of a debilitating problem," write authors Julius Cuong Pham, M.D., Ph.D., an emergency medicine physician at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Peter J. Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality. Gregory E. Skipper, M.D., of the drug and alcohol treatment center Promises, in Santa Monica, CA. also contributed.

Pham, Pronovost and Skipper note that "mandatory alcohol-drug testing for clinicians involved with unexpected deaths or sentinel events is not conducted in medicine," even though physicians are as susceptible to alcohol, narcotic and sedative addiction as the general public. (A sentinel event is an incident which results in death or serious physical harm.)

The authors recommend in their commentary that hospitals take a number of steps as a model to address this overlooked patient safety issue.

They are:

-- Mandatory physical examination, drug testing or both, before a medical staff appointment to a hospital. This already occurs in some hospitals and has been successful in other industries.

-- A program of random alcohol-drug testing.

-- A policy for routine drug-alcohol testing for all physicians involved with a sentinel event leading to patient death.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medicine. "All hospitals should require drug, alcohol tests for physicians, experts say." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130507124813.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medicine. (2013, May 7). All hospitals should require drug, alcohol tests for physicians, experts say. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130507124813.htm
Johns Hopkins Medicine. "All hospitals should require drug, alcohol tests for physicians, experts say." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130507124813.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Newsy (Oct. 25, 2014) — A Harvard University Research Team created genetically engineered stem cells that are able to kill cancer cells, while leaving other cells unharmed. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins