Studies have shown that excessive overtime is directly linked to incidents of medical errors. In the U.S., medical error is the eighth leading cause of death – more than motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer or AIDS.
In October’s Synergist, the magazine of the American Industrial Hygiene Association, Thomas Fuller notes that various state and international jurisdictions have already put in place limits in order to bring down medical error.
He notes 16 U.S. States have implemented regulations to limit overtime in nursing. In Japan the government recommends less than 45 hours of overtime per month and requires “administrative guidance” when overtime exceeds 100 hours.