Despite studies on the "weekend effect," results are inconclusive

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

August 21, 2012

Although two recent studies support the argument for the existence of a “weekend effect,” neither study discovered a cause for the disparity in weekday and weekend mortality rates, according to an article from HealthLeaders Media. The first study cited, a Johns Hopkins study published in the Journal of Surgical Research, found that older patients who sustained head trauma over the weekend were 14% more likely to die from those injuries than patients with similar injuries who were hospitalized Monday through Friday. The second new study, published in the Archives of Surgery, found that patients admitted on the weekend for urgent surgery for left-sided diverticulitis suffered worse outcomes than those admitted on a weekday.

The lead author of the Johns Hopkins study noted that the way hospitals operate on weekends may differ from weekday operations, and stated that hospitals should evaluate operations to improve outcomes. However, there has been no conclusive evidence as to whether or not the “weekend effect” truly exists, or what causes the phenomenon.

Source: HealthLeaders Media