Thursday, November 13, 2014

Note to self: If you're going to have a stroke, schedule it

This week, I took a friend to a hospital's emergency room after normal business hours. This isn't the only visit that confirmed my belief that health care suffers after hours.

Now, from Denmark, a new study looks at that weekend effect:
Overall, death within 30 days was 15% more common among patients presenting to Danish hospitals on weekend, evening, or night-time hours compared with those admitted during regular business hours, Nina Sahlertz Kristiansen, MHSc, of the Centre for Quality in Middelfart, Denmark, and colleagues found.
Off-hours admissions were associated with a lower likelihood of meeting even eight out of 10 performance measures, but that difference diminished over time, particularly from 2003 to 2011 after a national quality improvement program, the group reported online in Stroke.
The key factor in the mortality difference appeared to be stroke severity, they noted.
If only strokes followed a calendar and time clock - only Monday through Friday, 9 to 5.


J.L. Murphey said...

Unfortunately that doesn't happen. My first was 8pm at the beginning of Memorial Day weekend so had to wait until Tuesday to get an MRI. My second was on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving). Holiday staffing and evening shifts are bad news if you have a stroke.

Jennifer Saake said...

Mine was mid-morning on a Tuesday. Never stopped to think about what a blessing this timing was!