Introduction: Technical or practical skills deficits upon graduation from medical school are prevalent and contribute to increasing medical error. The current study sought to evaluate the efficacy of a simulation- and deliberate practice-based learning program for requesting blood products, delivered to newly graduated interns.
Methods: The requesting of blood products by a group of 27 “trained” interns was prospectively compared with that of a group of 30 “untrained” interns throughout the first 13 weeks of internship at an Irish teaching hospital.
Results: Our analysis showed that the training intervention reduced the risk of a rejected sample by 65% as compared with interns who did not receive the training. Moreover, the risk of a rejected sample for trained interns was 45% lower than for much more experienced doctors. The untrained interns required more than 2 months of clinical experience to reach an error rate that was not significantly different from that of the trained interns.
Conclusions: These findings indicate that skills acquired through deliberate practice generalized to the clinical setting led to a significant reduction in blood product prescribing errors.