Patients who ignore medical advice end up in hospital anyway

Patients who leave the hospital or an emergency department against medical advice usually end up returning within a week or month, according to a study from the Canadian Institute for Health Information. The study compared patients who completed their treatment to those who left inpatient care against medical advice. Those who ignored doctors' orders were more than twice as likely to be readmitted to the hospital within a month and three times as likely to visit the emergency room within a week. "While people have the right to leave if they want, it is important that they fully understand the possible consequences of their decision. It's also the responsibility of healthcare providers to make appropriate arrangements to minimize the risk of harm for patients who insist on leaving against medical advice," said Stephen Hwang, M.D., a scientist and physician at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. Study announcement