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A study by Johns Hopkins University says temporary staff at hospital emergency departments are twice as likely as traditionally hired, full-time personnel to be involved in medication errors that harm patients.
However, the study’s leader cautioned against blaming the temporary workers for the errors, according to the report. A hospital that uses a lot of temporary staff may have more quality of care issues in general, according to Julius Cuong Pham, M.D., Ph.D, an assistant professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine and emergency medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and the study’s leader.
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Other research on healthcare staffing has also taken place. At the 2011 Healthcare Staffing Summit, Linda Aiken will be presenting results on the safety of temporary nurses that is favorable to the staffing industry. Aiken, Ph.D., R.N., is director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research, University of Pennsylvania.