Robust EHRs, inpatient physical rehab and staff levels minimize 'weekend effect'

With studies showing that patients admitted to hospitals over the weekend are more likely to die and have serious complications, Loyola University Health System researchers have come up with strategies for reducing the so-called "weekend effect."

Their study focused on factors that reduced the length of hospital stay, which affects outcomes, following urgent surgeries performed on weekends. 

The researchers found that having electronic health record systems, inpatient physical rehab and more nurses per patient helped reduce the length of stay. Robust wound and pain management programs and home healthcare also played a part, according to an article in PM 360.

Home health programs and full EHR adoption are the key factors, according to an opinion piece in Becker's Infection Control & Clinical Quality.

The weekend effect isn't unique to the United States. Patients admitted to hospitals on weekends in several developed countries are more likely to die within 30 days than similar patients hospitalized during the week, one study showed.

But another study indicated that while the risk of death following surgery is highest on weekends, it's nearly as high following surgeries performed during the afternoon, and higher in February than the rest of the year.

For more:
here's the study abstract
check out the PM 360 article
see the Becker's opinion piece