INTRODUCTION: High workload, fatigue, and burnout have been found to be associated with increased medical errors and impaired performance. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether medico-legal reports, which are a legal responsibility for doctors in Turkey, could be neglected on days with excessive high workload.
METHODS: In this retrospective cross-sectional study, the daily total number of patients who presented at the emergency department of a state hospital and the number of medico-legal cases reported in a 1-year before and during the Covid-19 pandemic were analyzed. By using a workload score proposed and calculated for this study, the data of the days with and without excessive workload were compared.
RESULTS: As a result, it was determined that the number of medico-legal cases reported by doctors significantly decreased on days when the workload increased excessively. There was a significant correlation between the number of medico-legal cases and the total number of cases on days when the workload score was significantly reduced and it allowed a certain degree of modelling.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: An excessive workload seems to be caused doctors to neglect their legal medicine responsibilities, which poses a risk to both doctors and patients.