Medical errors increase by nearly 20% around daylight savings, study finds

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In the days following the switch to daylight saving time, human mistakes tied to patient safety-related incidents increased by almost 20 percent, according to a study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Researchers analyzed voluntarily reported data from Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic that occurred seven days before and after the spring and fall time changes for 2010-17. Patient safety-related incidents included defective systems, equipment failure or human error.  

Researchers didn't report significant differences in overall errors in the weeks before and after the time changes. However, when analyzing human error only, they found the number of human errors increased by a statistically significant 18.7 percent after daylight saving in the spring. Most of the errors involved medications, such as administering the wrong dose or wrong drug.

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