A recent research study reveals that hospital deaths are significantly higher when the patient is admitted on the weekend rather than during the week. The study cites lower staffing levels and less experienced hospital staff working weekends as possible explanations for the higher mortality rate.
This same study also concluded that being discharged from the hospital on a Friday has increased risks of death or readmission within thirty days. Early discharge may occur on a Friday in the rush to get patients out of the hospital and therefore, inadequate discharge instructions are given or the increased likelihood of discharging a patient before they are medically stable to go home occurs.
The lesson to be learned here is that one should try to avoid admission to a hospital over the weekend (which, of course, is sometimes unavoidable) or being discharged before the weekend. If you or your family member is discharged on a Friday, be sure to confirm with the physician your understanding of all discharge instructions, including all reasons that you would need to return to the hospital.
At Pierce & Thornton, we have handled numerous medical negligence cases involving a physician’s or hospital’s decision to discharge someone from the hospital before they were medically stable. If you have any questions about this type of case, please call one of our experienced medical negligence attorneys.