Testing alertness of emergency physicians: A novel quantitative measure of alertness and implications for worker and patient care.
Cognitive errors caused by fatigue can impact patient safety. This study used a brief, electronic cognitive assessment tool to determine the effect of shift work on emergency medicine resident’s alertness. The authors found that alertness is lowest at the end of the evening shift (typically ending between 12:00-2:00am) and there is a significant difference in alertness between the start versus end of the night shift. No significant difference was observed in the day or evening shifts.