Similar outcomes among general medicine patients discharged on weekends.
J Hosp Med. 2014 Dec 24;
Authors: McAlister FA, Youngson E, Padwal RS, Majumdar SR
BACKGROUND: Hospitals reduce staffing levels and services on weekends. This raises the question of whether weekend discharges may be inadequately prepared and thus at higher risk for adverse events postdischarge.
OBJECTIVE: To compare death or nonelective readmission rates 30 days after weekend versus weekday discharge.
DESIGN: Retrospective cohort.
SETTING: All teaching hospitals in Alberta, Canada.
PATIENTS: General internal medicine (GIM) discharges (only 1 per patient).
MEASUREMENTS: Analyses were adjusted for demographics, comorbidity, and length of stay based on a previously validated index.
RESULTS: Of 7991 patients (mean age, 62.1 years; 51.9% male; mean Charlson 2.56; 57.5% LACE ≥10) discharged from 7 teaching hospitals, 1146 (14.3%) were discharged on a weekend. Although they had substantially shorter lengths of stay (5.64 days, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 5.35-5.93 vs 7.86 days, 95% CI: 7.71-8.00, adjusted P value < 0.0001) and were less likely to be discharged with homecare support (10.9% vs 19.3%) or to long-term care facilities (3.1% vs 7.8%), patients discharged on weekends exhibited similar rates of death or readmission at 30 days compared to those discharged on weekdays (10.6% vs 13.2%, adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 0.94, 95% CI: 0.77-1.16), even among the 4591 patients deemed to be at high risk for postdischarge events based on LACE (length of hospital stay, acuity of admission, comorbidity burden quantified using the Charlson Comorbidity Index, and emergency department visits in the 6 months prior to admission) score ≥10 (16.8% vs 16.5% for weekday discharges, aOR: 1.09 [95% CI: 0.85-1.41]).
CONCLUSIONS: GIM patients discharged from teaching hospitals on weekends have shorter lengths of stay and exhibit similar postdischarge outcomes as patients discharged on weekdays. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2014. © 2014 Society of Hospital Medicine.
PMID: 25537769 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]