Background and purpose: Neurology residency training programs have been profoundly impacted by recent changes in resident duty hours, workloads, and supervisory requirements. In response, many programs have adopted a night float coverage system to minimize the requirements for overnight call. The majority involves residents working a block of night shifts in what is typically a service-oriented rotation. Recently, concerns have arisen regarding the impact of this design on resident education and patient care. We have developed a novel on-site nighttime neurohospitalist model for the explicit purpose of steepening the initial learning curve for neurology residents in an effort to rapidly improve their neurological skills and, in conjunction, overnight patient care. We surveyed residents after the initiation of this system to assess their perception of the impact of direct overnight supervision on education and patient care.
Methods: As part of ongoing quality improvement efforts, surveys were administered to neurology house staff at a tertiary academic medical center after they had completed service on the night float rotation both with and without an attending in the hospital using a retrospective pre/postdesign.
Results: There was a robust positive impact on resident's perception of overall quality, educational value, and clinical quality on the night float rotation with an attending on-site. Despite an overall perception that their autonomy was maintained, residents believed barriers to contact the attending were lower, and attending interaction during critical decision making was more frequent.
Conclusions: Direct overnight supervision by a neurohospitalist enhances the educational value and care quality on overnight resident rotations.
Keywords: autonomy; education; neurohospitalist; night float; quality; residency; supervision.