A study published in a recent edition of the Journal of the American Heart Association found that patients admitted to the hospital on night and weekend have an increased risk of death. The study was titled “Off Hour Admission and Mortality Risk for 28 Specific Diseases: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of 251 Cohorts,” and was published in Volume 115 of the Journal of the American Heart Association.
The study concluded that on average, night and weekend admission patients experienced a higher risk of death than patients admitted during regular hours. The study showed a significant association between night and weekend admission and death for 20 specific diseases, including aortic aneurysm, breast cancer, leukemia, respiratory neoplasm, and pancreatic cancer, among others.
The research noted that there may be several causes: inadequate access to specialized services, discontinuity of care, and reduced availability of certain procedures. These are all standard of care issues and it is concerning that substandard care is provided so often for night and weekend admission patients. The paper calls for hopsital administrators to strive to raise the quality of care on nights and weekends so that it achieves the standard of care appropriate for all patients.