July 25, 2019

Study debunks ‘July Effect’ in cardiac surgery

By: Judy Mathias

Editor’s Note

The “July Effect”−the idea that more errors occur in July because of the influx of new interns and residents starting their in-hospital training−does not apply to cardiac surgery, this study finds.

For more than 470,000 cardiac procedures analyzed (coronary bypass, aortic valve, mitral valve, thoracic aortic aneurysm), in-hospital mortality for each type of procedure did not vary by procedure month or academic year quartile, even after risk adjustment.

Teaching status did not influence risk-adjusted mortality for coronary bypass and thoracic aortic aneurysm procedures. However, teaching hospitals had significantly lower adjusted mortality than nonteaching hospitals for aortic and mitral valve procedures.

Because cardiac surgery patients are managed in a multidisciplinary fashion, the well-being of patients is not dependent on one individual and may be more resistant to changes in hospital staff, the researchers note.

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