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1.  Associations between Stroke Mortality and Weekend Working by Stroke Specialist Physicians and Registered Nurses: Prospective Multicentre Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(8):e1001705.
In a multicenter observational study, Benjamin Bray and colleagues evaluate whether weekend rounds by stroke specialist physicians, or the ratio of registered nurses to beds on weekends, is associated with patient mortality after stroke.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Observational studies have reported higher mortality for patients admitted on weekends. It is not known whether this “weekend effect” is modified by clinical staffing levels on weekends. We aimed to test the hypotheses that rounds by stroke specialist physicians 7 d per week and the ratio of registered nurses to beds on weekends are associated with mortality after stroke.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a prospective cohort study of 103 stroke units (SUs) in England. Data of 56,666 patients with stroke admitted between 1 June 2011 and 1 December 2012 were extracted from a national register of stroke care in England. SU characteristics and staffing levels were derived from cross-sectional survey. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) of 30-d post-admission mortality, adjusting for case mix, organisational, staffing, and care quality variables. After adjusting for confounders, there was no significant difference in mortality risk for patients admitted to a stroke service with stroke specialist physician rounds fewer than 7 d per week (adjusted HR [aHR] 1.04, 95% CI 0.91–1.18) compared to patients admitted to a service with rounds 7 d per week. There was a dose–response relationship between weekend nurse/bed ratios and mortality risk, with the highest risk of death observed in stroke services with the lowest nurse/bed ratios. In multivariable analysis, patients admitted on a weekend to a SU with 1.5 nurses/ten beds had an estimated adjusted 30-d mortality risk of 15.2% (aHR 1.18, 95% CI 1.07–1.29) compared to 11.2% for patients admitted to a unit with 3.0 nurses/ten beds (aHR 0.85, 95% CI 0.77–0.93), equivalent to one excess death per 25 admissions. The main limitation is the risk of confounding from unmeasured characteristics of stroke services.
Mortality outcomes after stroke are associated with the intensity of weekend staffing by registered nurses but not 7-d/wk ward rounds by stroke specialist physicians. The findings have implications for quality improvement and resource allocation in stroke care.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
In a perfect world, a patient admitted to hospital on a weekend or during the night should have as good an outcome as a patient admitted during regular working hours. But several observational studies (investigations that record patient outcomes without intervening in any way; clinical trials, by contrast, test potential healthcare interventions by comparing the outcomes of patients who are deliberately given different treatments) have reported that admission on weekends is associated with a higher mortality (death) rate than admission on weekdays. This “weekend effect” has led to calls for increased medical and nursing staff to be available in hospitals during the weekend and overnight to ensure that the healthcare provided at these times is of equal quality to that provided during regular working hours. In the UK, for example, “seven-day working” has been identified as a policy and service improvement priority for the National Health Service.
Why Was This Study Done?
Few studies have actually tested the relationship between patient outcomes and weekend physician or nurse staffing levels. It could be that patients who are admitted to hospital on the weekend have poor outcomes because they are generally more ill than those admitted on weekdays. Before any health system introduces potentially expensive increases in weekend staffing levels, better evidence that this intervention will improve patient outcomes is needed. In this prospective cohort study (a study that compares the outcomes of groups of people with different baseline characteristics), the researchers ask whether mortality after stroke is associated with weekend working by stroke specialist physicians and registered nurses. Stroke occurs when the brain's blood supply is interrupted by a blood vessel in the brain bursting (hemorrhagic stroke) or being blocked by a blood clot (ischemic stroke). Swift treatment can limit the damage to the brain caused by stroke, but of the 15 million people who have a stroke every year, about 6 million die within a few hours and another 5 million are left disabled.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers extracted clinical data on 56,666 patients who were admitted to stroke units in England over an 18-month period from a national stroke register. They obtained information on the characteristics and staffing levels of the stroke units from a biennial survey of hospitals admitting patients with stroke, and information on deaths among patients with stroke from the national register of deaths. A quarter of the patients were admitted on a weekend, almost half the stroke units provided stroke specialist physician rounds seven days per week, and the remainder provided rounds five days per week. After adjustment for factors that might have affected outcomes (“confounders”) such as stroke severity and the level of acute stroke care available in each stroke unit, there was no significant difference in mortality risk between patients admitted to a stroke unit with rounds seven days/week and patients admitted to a unit with rounds fewer than seven days/week. However, patients admitted on a weekend to a stroke unit with 1.5 nurses/ten beds had a 30-day mortality risk of 15.2%, whereas patients admitted to a unit with 3.0 nurses/ten beds had a mortality risk of 11.2%, a mortality risk difference equivalent to one excess death per 25 admissions.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that the provision of stroke specialist physician rounds seven days/week in stroke units in England did not influence the (weak) association between weekend admission for stroke and death recorded in this study, but mortality outcomes after stroke were associated with the intensity of weekend staffing by registered nurses. The accuracy of these findings may be affected by the measure used to judge the level of acute care available in each stroke unit and by residual confounding. For example, patients admitted to units with lower nursing levels may have shared other unknown characteristics that increased their risk of dying after stroke. Moreover, this study considered the impact of staffing levels on mortality only and did not consider other relevant outcomes such as long-term disability. Despite these limitations, these findings support the provision of higher weekend ratios of registered nurses to beds in stroke units, but given the high costs of increasing weekend staffing levels, it is important that controlled trials of different models of physician and nursing staffing are undertaken as soon as possible.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
This study is further discussed in a PLOS Medicine Perspective by Meeta Kerlin
Information about plans to introduce seven-day working into the National Health Service in England is available; the 2013 publication “NHS Services—Open Seven Days a Week: Every Day Counts” provides examples of how hospitals across England are working together to provide routine healthcare services seven days a week; a “Behind the Headlines” article on the UK National Health Service Choices website describes a recent observational study that investigated the association between admission to hospital on the weekend and death, and newspaper coverage of the study's results; the Choices website also provides information about stroke for patients and their families, including personal stories
A US nurses' site includes information on the association of nurse staffing with patient safety
The US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke provides information about all aspects of stroke (in English and Spanish); its Know Stroke site provides educational materials about stroke prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation, including personal stories (in English and Spanish); the US National Institute of Health SeniorHealth website has additional information about stroke
The Internet Stroke Center provides detailed information about stroke for patients, families, and health professionals (in English and Spanish)
PMCID: PMC4138029  PMID: 25137386
2.  Weekend admission to hospital has a higher risk of death in the elective setting than in the emergency setting: a retrospective database study of national health service hospitals in England 
Although acute hospitals offer a twenty-four hour seven day a week service levels of staffing are lower over the weekends and some health care processes may be less readily available over the weekend. Whilst it is thought that emergency admission to hospital on the weekend is associated with an increased risk of death, the extent to which this applies to elective admissions is less well known. We investigated the risk of death in elective and elective patients admitted over the weekend versus the weekdays.
Retrospective statistical analysis of routinely collected acute hospital admissions in England, involving all patient discharges from all acute hospitals in England over a year (April 2008-March 2009), using a logistic regression model which adjusted for a range of patient case-mix variables, seasonality and admission over a weekend separately for elective and emergency (but excluding zero day stay emergency admissions discharged alive) admissions.
Of the 1,535,267 elective admissions, 91.7% (1,407,705) were admitted on the weekday and 8.3% (127,562) were admitted on the weekend. The mortality following weekday admission was 0.52% (7,276/1,407,705) compared with 0.77% (986/127,562) following weekend admission. Of the 3,105,249 emergency admissions, 76.3% (2,369,316) were admitted on the weekday and 23.7% (735,933) were admitted on the weekend. The mortality following emergency weekday admission was 6.53% (154,761/2,369,316) compared to 7.06% (51,922/735,933) following weekend admission. After case-mix adjustment, weekend admissions were associated with an increased risk of death, especially in the elective setting (elective Odds Ratio: 1.32, 95% Confidence Interval 1.23 to 1.41); vs emergency Odds Ratio: 1.09, 95% Confidence Interval 1.05 to 1.13).
Weekend admission appears to be an independent risk factor for dying in hospital and this risk is more pronounced in the elective setting. Given the planned nature of elective admissions, as opposed to the unplanned nature of emergency admissions, it would seem less likely that this increased risk in the elective setting is attributable to unobserved patient risk factors. Further work to understand the relationship between weekend processes of care and mortality, especially in the elective setting, is required.
PMCID: PMC3341193  PMID: 22471933
3.  Outcomes of Patients Receiving Maintenance Dialysis Admitted Over Weekends 
Hospital admissions over weekends have been associated with worse outcomes in different patient populations. The etiology of this difference in outcomes remains unclear; however different staffing patterns over weekends have been speculated to contribute. We evaluated outcomes in patients on maintenance dialysis admitted over weekends using a national database.
Study Design
Retrospective cohort study.
Setting & Participants
We included non-elective admissions of adult patients (≥18 years) on maintenance dialysis (n=3,278,572) identified using appropriate ICD-9-CM codes for years 2005-2009 using Nationwide Inpatient Sample database.
Weekend vs weekday admission.
Primary outcome measure was all cause in-hospital mortality. Secondary outcomes included mortality by day three of admission, length of hospital stay, time to death and discharge disposition.
We adjusted for patient and hospital characteristics, payer, year, comorbidities and primary discharge diagnosis common to maintenance dialysis patients.
There were estimated 704,491 admissions over weekends vs 2,574,081 over weekdays. Unadjusted all cause in-hospital mortality was 40,666 (5.8%) for weekend admissions in comparison to 138,517 (5.4%) for weekday admissions (p<0.001). In multivariable model, patients admitted over weekends had higher all cause in-hospital mortality (OR, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.01-1.10) in comparison to those admitted over weekdays and higher mortality during first three days of admission (OR, 1.18; 95% CI, 1.10-1.26). Patients admitted over weekends were less likely to be discharged home, had longer hospital stay and shorter time to death compared to those admitted over weekdays on adjusted analysis.
Use of ICD-9-CM codes to identify patients, defining weekend as midnight Friday to midnight Sunday.
Maintenance dialysis patients admitted over weekends have increased mortality rates and longer length of stay as compared to those admitted over weekdays. Further studies are needed to identify the reasons for worse outcomes for weekend admissions in this patient population.
PMCID: PMC3783620  PMID: 23669002
dialysis; admissions; mortality
4.  The effect of weekend versus weekday admission on outcomes of esophageal variceal hemorrhage 
Hospital staffing is often lower on weekends than weekdays, and may contribute to higher mortality in patients admitted on weekends. Because esophageal variceal hemorrhage (EVH) requires complex management and urgent endoscopic intervention, limitations in physician expertise and the availability of endoscopy on weekends may be associated with increased EVH mortality.
To assess the differences in mortality, hospital length of stay (LOS), and costs between patients admitted on weekends versus patients who were admitted on weekdays.
The United States Nationwide Inpatient Sample database was used to identify patients hospitalized for EVH between 1998 and 2005. Differences in mortality, LOS, and costs between patients admitted on weekends and weekdays were evaluated using regression models with adjustment for patient and clinical factors, including the timing of endoscopy.
Between 1998 and 2005, 36,734 EVH admissions to 2207 hospitals met the inclusion criteria. Compared with patients admitted on weekdays, individuals admitted on the weekend were slightly less likely to undergo endoscopy on the day of admission (45% versus 43%, respectively; P=0.01) and by the second day (81% versus 75%; P<0.0001). However, mortality (11.3% versus 10.8%; P=0.20) and the requirement for endoscopic therapy (70% versus 69%; P=0.08) or portosystemic shunt insertion (4.4% versus 4.7%; P=0.32) did not differ between weekend and weekday admissions. After adjusting for confounding factors, including the timing of endoscopy, the risk of mortality was similar between weekend and weekday admissions (OR 1.05; 95% CI 0.97 to 1.14). Although LOS was similar between groups, adjusted hospital charges were 4.0% greater (95% CI 2.3 to 5.8%) for patients hospitalized on the weekend.
In patients with EVH, admission on the weekend is associated with a small delay in receiving endoscopic intervention, but no difference in mortality or the requirement for portosystemic shunt insertion. The weekend effect observed for some medical and surgical conditions does not apply to patients with EVH.
PMCID: PMC2722470  PMID: 19623333
Cirrhosis; Database; Health services research; Hemorrhage; Outcome assessment; Portal hypertension
5.  Hospital mortality among major trauma victims admitted on weekends and evenings: a cohort study 
Patient care may be inconsistent during off hours. We sought to determine whether victims of major trauma admitted to hospital on evenings, nights, and weekends suffer increased mortality rates. All victims of major trauma admitted to all four major acute care hospitals in the Calgary Health Region between April 1, 2002 and March 31, 2006 were included. Clinical and outcome information was obtained from regional databases. Weekends were defined as anytime Saturday or Sunday, evenings as 18:00–22:59, and nights as 23:00–07:59.
Four thousand patients were included; 2,901 (73%) were male, the median age was 39.5 [inter-quartile range (IQR), 22.4–58.2] years, and the median injury severity score (ISS) was 20 (IQR, 16–26). Thirty-five percent (1,405) of patients were admitted on a weekend, 30% (1,197) during evenings, and 36% (1,422) at night. Seventy-eight percent (3,106) of cases presented during the "after hours" (evenings, nights, and/or weekends). The in-hospital case-fatality rate was 447 (11%), and was not significantly different during daytime (165/1,381; 37%), evening (128/1,197; 30%), and night (154/1,422; 36%) admissions (p = 0.53), or among patients admitted on weekends as compared to weekdays (157/1,405; 11% vs. 290/2,595; 11%; p = 1.0). Admission during the after hours as compared to business hours (343/3,106; 11% vs. 104/894; 12%; p = 0.63) did not increased risk. A multivariable logistic regression model was developed to assess factors associated with in-hospital death (n = 3,891). Neither admission on weekends nor on evenings or nights increased the risk for in-hospital mortality.
In our region, the time of admission during the day or day of the week does not influence the risk for adverse outcome and may reflect our highly developed multi-hospital acute care and trauma system.
PMCID: PMC2731032  PMID: 19635157
6.  Weekend Versus Weekday Admission And Mortality Following Acute Pulmonary Embolism 
Circulation  2009;119(7):962-968.
Optimal management of acute pulmonary embolism (PE) requires medical expertise, diagnostic testing and therapies, which may not be consistently available throughout the entire week. We sought to assess whether there are associations between weekday and weekend admission and mortality and length of hospital stay for patients hospitalized with PE.
Methods and Results
We evaluated patients discharged with a primary diagnosis of PE from 186 acute care hospitals in Pennsylvania (01/2000-11/2002). We used random-effect logistic models to study the association between weekend admission and 30-day mortality and used discrete survival models to study the association weekend admission and time to hospital discharge, adjusting for hospital (region, size, teaching status) and patient factors (race, insurance, severity of illness, use of thrombolytic therapy). Among 15,531 patient discharges with PE, 3286 (21.2%) were admitted on a weekend. Patients admitted on weekends had a higher unadjusted 30-day mortality (11.1% vs 8.8%) compared to patients admitted on weekdays, with no difference in length of stay. Patients admitted on weekends had a significantly greater adjusted odds of dying (odds ratio 1.17, 95% confidence interval: 1.03-1.34) compared to patients admitted on weekdays. The higher mortality among patients hospitalized on weekends was driven by the increased mortality rate among the most severely ill patients.
Patients with PE who are admitted on weekends have a significantly higher short-term mortality than patients admitted on weekdays. Quality improvement efforts should aim to ensure that there is a consistent approach to the management of PE 7 days a week.
PMCID: PMC2746886  PMID: 19204300
lung embolism; prognosis; mortality
7.  Hospital outcomes for paediatric pneumonia and diarrhoea patients admitted in a tertiary hospital on weekdays versus weekends: a retrospective study 
BMC Pediatrics  2013;13:74.
Quality of patient care in hospitals has been shown to be inconsistent during weekends and night-time hours, and is often associated with reduced patient monitoring, poor antibiotic prescription practices and poor patient outcomes. Poorer care and outcomes are commonly attributed to decreased levels of staffing, supervision and expertise and poorer access to diagnostics. However, there are few studies examining this issue in low resource settings where mortality from common childhood illnesses is high and health care systems are weak.
This study uses data from a retrospective cross-sectional study aimed at “evaluating the uptake of best practice clinical guidelines in a tertiary hospital” with a pre and post intervention approach that spanned the period 2005 to 2009. We evaluated a primary hypothesis that mortality for children with pneumonia and/or dehydration aged 2–59 months admitted on weekends differed from those admitted on weekdays. A secondary hypothesis that poor quality of care could be a mechanism for higher mortality was also explored. Logistic regression was used to examine the association between mortality and the independent predictors of mortality.
Our analysis indicates that there is no difference in mortality on weekends compared to weekdays even after adjusting for the significant predictors of mortality (OR = 1.15; 95% CI 0.90 -1.45; p = 0.27). There were similarly no significant differences between weekends and weekdays for the quality of care indicators, however, there was an overall improvement in mortality and quality of care through the period of study.
Mortality and the quality of care does not differ by the day of admission in a Kenyan tertiary hospital, however mortality remains high suggesting that continued efforts to improve care are warranted.
PMCID: PMC3655904  PMID: 23663546
Children; Pneumonia; Diarrhea; Weekend versus weekday; Quality of health care
8.  Comprehensive Stroke Centers and the “Weekend Effect”: The SPOTRIAS Experience 
Background and Purpose
Prior studies found mortality among ischemic stroke patients to be higher on weekends. We sought to evaluate whether weekend admission was associated with worse outcomes in a large comprehensive stroke center (CSC) cohort.
Consecutive ischemic stroke patients presenting within 6 hours of symptom onset were identified using the 8 CSC SPOTRIAS database. Patients who received intra-arterial therapy or were enrolled in a non-observational clinical trial were excluded. All patients meeting inclusion criteria were then divided into two groups: weekday admissions or weekend admissions. Weekend admission was defined as Friday 17:01 to Monday 08:59. The remainder were classified weekday admissions. Multivariate logistic regression was used adjusting for age, stroke severity on admission via NIHSS, and admission glucose to compare outcomes in the weekend vs. weekday groups.
8581 subjects from the combined SPOTRIAS database were screened from 2002-2009. 2090 (24.4%) met inclusion criteria. There was no significant difference in t-PA treatment rates between weekday and weekend groups (58.5% vs. 60.4%, p=.397). Weekend admission was not a significant independent predictor of in-hospital mortality (8.4% vs. 9.9%, p=.056), LOS (4 days vs. 5 days, p=.442), favorable discharge disposition (38.0% vs. 42.2%, p=.122), favorable functional outcome at discharge (41.6% vs. 43.4%, p=.805), favorable 90 day functional outcome (54.2% vs. 46.9%, p=.301), or 90 day mortality (18.2% vs. 19.8%, p=.680) when adjusting for age, NIHSS, and admission glucose.
In this large cohort of ischemic stroke patients treated at CSC’s, we did not observe the “weekend effect.” This may be due to 24/7/365 access to stroke specialists, nurses with stroke experience, and the organized system for delivering care available at CSCs. These results suggest EMS protocol should be reexamined regarding preferential delivery of weekend stroke victims to hospitals that provide all levels of reperfusion therapy. This further highlights the importance of organized stroke care.
PMCID: PMC3568158  PMID: 23207423
Acute Care; Acute Stroke; Emergency Medical Services; Epidemiology; Organized Stroke Care; Outcomes; Stroke Delivery; Thrombolytic RX
9.  Hospital mortality is associated with ICU admission time 
Intensive Care Medicine  2010;36(10):1765-1771.
Previous studies have shown that patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) after “office hours” are more likely to die. However these results have been challenged by numerous other studies. We therefore analysed this possible relationship between ICU admission time and in-hospital mortality in The Netherlands.
This article relates time of ICU admission to hospital mortality for all patients who were included in the Dutch national ICU registry (National Intensive Care Evaluation, NICE) from 2002 to 2008. We defined office hours as 08:00–22:00 hours during weekdays and 09:00–18:00 hours during weekend days. The weekend was defined as from Saturday 00:00 hours until Sunday 24:00 hours. We corrected hospital mortality for illness severity at admission using Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II) score, reason for admission, admission type, age and gender.
A total of 149,894 patients were included in this analysis. The relative risk (RR) for mortality outside office hours was 1.059 (1.031–1.088). Mortality varied with time but was consistently higher than expected during “off hours” and lower during office hours. There was no significant difference in mortality between different weekdays of Monday to Thursday, but mortality increased slightly on Friday (RR 1.046; 1.001–1.092). During the weekend the RR was 1.103 (1.071–1.136) in comparison with the rest of the week.
Hospital mortality in The Netherlands appears to be increased outside office hours and during the weekends, even when corrected for illness severity at admission. However, incomplete adjustment for certain confounders might still play an important role. Further research is needed to fully explain this difference.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00134-010-1918-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC2940016  PMID: 20549184
Hospital mortality; Admission time; ICU; Severity of illness; APACHE II
10.  Weekend Admission in Patients with Acute Ischemic Stroke Is Not Associated with Poor Functional Outcome than Weekday Admission 
Background and Purpose
Stroke requires consistent care, but there is concern over the "weekend effect", whereby a weekend admission results in a poor outcome. Our aim was to determine the impact of weekend admission on clinical outcomes in patients with acute ischemic stroke in Korea.
The outcomes of patients admitted on weekdays and weekends were compared by analyzing data from a prospective outcome registry enrolling 1247 consecutive patients with acute ischemic stroke admitted to four neurology training hospitals in South Korea between September 2004 and August 2005. The primary outcome was a poor functional outcome at 3 months, defined as modified Rankin Scale (mRS) of 3-6. Secondary outcomes were 3-month mortality, use of thrombolysis, complication rate, and length of hospitalization. Shift analysis was also performed to compare overall mRS distributions.
On weekends, 334 (26.8%) patients were admitted. Baseline characteristics were comparable between the weekday and weekend groups except for more history of heart disease and shorter admission time in weekend group. Univariate analysis revealed poor functional outcome at 3 months, 3-month mortality, complication rate, and length of hospitalization did not differ between the two groups. In addition, overall mRS distributions were comparable (p=0.865). After adjusting for baseline factors and stroke severity, weekend admission was not associated with poor functional outcome at 3 months (adjusted odds ratio, 1.05; 95% CI, 0.74-1.50). Furthermore, none of secondary endpoints differed between the two groups in multivariate analysis.
Weekend admission was not associated with poor functional outcome than weekday admission in patients with acute ischemic stroke in this study. The putative weekend effect should be explored further by considering a wider range of hospital settings and hemorrhagic stroke.
PMCID: PMC3540285  PMID: 23323134
weekend effect; weekend admission; ischemic stroke
11.  Can Comprehensive Stroke Centers Erase the ‘Weekend Effect’? 
Prior epidemiological work has shown higher mortality in ischemic stroke patients admitted on weekends, which has been termed the ‘weekend effect’. Our aim was to assess stroke patient outcomes in order to determine the significance of the ‘weekend effect’ at 2 comprehensive stroke centers.
Consecutive stroke patients were identified using prospective databases. Patients were categorized into 4 groups: intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH group), ischemic strokes not treated with IV t-PA (intravenous tissue plasminogen activator; IS group), acute ischemic strokes treated with IV t-PA (AIS-TPA group), and transient ischemic attack (TIA group). Weekend admission was defined as the period from Friday, 17:01, to Monday, 08:59. Patients treated beyond the 3-hour window, receiving intra-arterial therapy, or enrolled in nonobservational clinical trials were excluded. Patient demographics, NIHSS scores, and admission glucose levels were examined. Adverse events, poor functional outcome (modified Rankin scale, mRS, 3–6), and mortality were compared.
A total of 2,211 patients were included (1,407 site 1, 804 site 2). Thirty-six percent (800/2,211) arrived on a weekend. No significant differences were found in the ICH, IS, AIS-TPA, or TIA groups with respect to the rate of symptomatic ICH, mRS on discharge, discharge disposition, 90-day mRS, or 90-day mortality when comparing weekend and weekday groups. Using multivariate logistic regression to adjust for site, age, admission NIHSS, and blood glucose, weekend admission was not a significant independent predictive factor for in-hospital mortality in all strokes (OR = 1.10, 95% CI 0.74–1.63, p = 0.631).
Our results suggest that comprehensive stroke centers (CSC) may ameliorate the ‘weekend effect’ in stroke patients. These results may be due to 24/7 availability of stroke specialists, advanced neuroimaging, or ongoing training and surveillance of specialized nursing care available at CSC. While encouraging, these results require confirmation in prospective studies.
PMCID: PMC2790057  PMID: 19039213
Stroke; Weekend; Mortality; Outcomes research; Quality of healthcare
12.  Is the presence of medical trainees associated with increased mortality with weekend admission? 
Several studies have demonstrated increased inhospital mortality following weekend admission. We hypothesized that the presence of resident trainees reduces the weekend mortality trends.
We identified all patients with a non-elective hospital admission from 1/1/2003 through 12/31/2008. We abstracted vital status on discharge and calculated the Charlson comorbidity score for all inpatients. We compared odds of inpatient mortality following non-elective admission on a weekend day as compared to a weekday, while considering diagnosis, patient characteristics, comorbidity, hospital factors, and care at hospitals with resident trainees.
Data were available for 48,253,968 patient discharges during the six-year study period. The relative risk of mortality was 15% higher following weekend admission as compared to weekday admission. After adjusting for diagnosis, age, sex, race, income level, payer, comorbidity, and weekend admission the overall odds of mortality was higher for patients in hospitals with fewer nurses and staff physicians. Mortality following a weekend admission for patients admitted to a hospital with resident trainees was significantly higher (17%) than hospitals with no resident trainees (p < 0.001).
Low staffing levels of nurses and physicians significantly impact mortality on weekends following non-elective admission. Conversely, patients admitted to hospitals with more resident trainees had significantly higher mortality following a weekend admission.
PMCID: PMC3926858  PMID: 24397268
Mortality; Weekend; Trainee; Non-elective
13.  Exploring if day and time of admission is associated with average length of stay among inpatients from a tertiary hospital in Singapore: an analytic study based on routine admission data 
It has been postulated that patients admitted on weekends or after office hours may experience delays in clinical management and consequently have longer length of stay (LOS). We investigated if day and time of admission is associated with LOS in Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), a 1,400 bed acute care tertiary hospital serving the central and northern regions of Singapore.
This was a historical cohort study based on all admissions from TTSH from 1st September 2003 to 31st August 2004. Data was extracted from routinely available computerized hospital information systems for analysis by episode of care. LOS for each episode of care was log-transformed before analysis, and a multivariate linear regression model was used to study if sex, age group, type of admission, admission source, day of week admitted, admission on a public holiday or eve of public holiday, admission on a weekend and admission time were associated with an increased LOS.
In the multivariate analysis, sex, age group, type of admission, source of admission, admission on the eve of public holiday and weekends and time of day admitted were independently and significantly associated with LOS. Patients admitted on Friday, Saturday or Sunday stayed on average 0.3 days longer than those admitted on weekdays, after adjusting for potential confounders; those admitted on the eve of public holidays, and those admitted in the afternoons and after office hours also had a longer LOS (differences of 0.71, 1.14 and 0.65 days respectively).
Cases admitted over a weekend, eve of holiday, in the afternoons, and after office hours, do have an increased LOS. Further research is needed to identify processes contributing to the above phenomenon.
PMCID: PMC1395361  PMID: 16426459
14.  Patterns of physical activity and sedentary behaviour in preschool children 
Little is known about patterns of sedentary behavior (SB) and physical activity among preschoolers. Therefore, in this observational study patterns of SB and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) were examined in detail throughout the week in preschool-aged boys and girls.
A sample of 703 Melbourne preschool children (387 boys; 4.6 ± 0.7 y) were included in data analysis. SB and MVPA data were collected using accelerometry over an eight-day period. Percentage of time per hour in SB and in MVPA between 08:00 h and 20:00 h was calculated. Multi-level logistic regression models were created to examine the hour-by-hour variability in SB and MVPA for boys and girls across weekdays and weekend days. Odds ratios (OR) were calculated to interpret differences in hour-by-hour SB and MVPA levels between boys and girls, and between weekdays and weekend days.
The highest SB levels co-occurred with the lowest MVPA levels from the morning till the early afternoon on weekdays, and during the morning and around midday on weekends. Besides, participation in SB was the lowest and participation in MVPA was the highest from the mid afternoon till the evening on weekdays and weekend days. The variability across the hours in SB and, especially, in MVPA was rather small throughout weekdays and weekends. These patterns were found in both boys and girls. During some hours, girls were found to be more likely than boys to demonstrate higher SB levels (OR from 1.08 to 1.16; all p < 0.05) and lower MVPA levels (OR from 0.75 to 0.88; all p < 0.05), but differences were small. During weekends, hour-by-hour SB levels were more likely to be lower (OR from 0.74 to 0.98; all p < 0.05) and hour-by-hour MVPA levels were more likely to be higher (OR from 1.15 to 1.50; all p < 0.05), than during weekdays, in boys and girls.
Entire weekdays, especially from the morning till the early afternoon, and entire weekend days are opportunities to reduce SB and to promote MVPA in preschool-aged boys and girls. Particularly weekdays hold the greatest promise for improving SB and MVPA. No particular time of the week was found where one sex should be targeted.
PMCID: PMC3544605  PMID: 23186232
Accelerometry; Physical activity; Sedentary behavior; Variability; Hour-by-hour; Young children
15.  Weekend Hospitalizations and Post-operative Complications following urgent surgery for Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease 
There is increasing complexity in the management of patients with acute severe exacerbation of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD; Crohn’s disease (CD), ulcerative colitis (UC)) with frequent requirement for urgent surgery.
To determine whether a weekend effect exists for IBD care in the United States.
We used data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) 2007, the largest all-payer hospitalization database in the United States. Discharges with a diagnosis of CD or UC who underwent urgent intestinal surgery within 2 days of hospitalization were identified using the appropriate ICD-9 codes. The independent effect of admission on a weekend was examined using multivariate logistic regression adjusting for potential confounders.
Our study included 7,112 urgent intestinal surgeries in IBD patients, 21% of which occurred following weekend admissions. There was no difference in disease severity between weekend and weekday admissions. Post-operative complications were more common following weekend than weekday hospitalizations in UC (odds ratio (OR) 1.71, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01–2.90). The most common post-operative complication was post-operative infections (Weekend 30% vs. weekday 20%, p=0.04). The most striking difference between weekend and weekday hospitalizations was for need for repeat laparotomy (OR 11.5), mechanical wound complications (OR 10.03) and pulmonary complications (OR 2.22). In contrast, occurrence of any post-operative complication in CD was similar between weekday and weekend admissions.
Patients with UC hospitalized on a weekend undergoing urgent surgery within 2 days have an increased risk for post-operative complications, in particular mechanical wound complications, need for repeat laparotomy, and post-operative infections.
PMCID: PMC3618593  PMID: 23451882
weekend effect; post-operative complications; Crohn’s disease; ulcerative colitis
16.  Weekend admissions as an independent predictor of mortality: an analysis of Scottish hospital admissions 
BMJ Open  2012;2(6):e001789.
Weekend admissions have been shown to be associated with an increased risk of mortality compared with weekday admissions for many diagnoses. We analysed emergency department admissions within the Scottish National Health Service to investigate whether mortality is increased in case of weekend emergency department admissions.
A cohort study.
Scotland National Health Service (NHS) emergency departments.
5 271 327 emergency department admissions between 1999 and 2009. We included all patients admitted via emergency departments recorded in the Scottish Morbidity Records (SMR01) in NHS, Scotland for whom complete demographic data were available.
Primary outcome measures
Death as recorded by the General Register Office (GRO).
There was a significantly increased probability of death associated with a weekend emergency admission compared with admission on a weekday (unadjusted OR 1.27, 95% CI 1.26 to 1.28, p<0.0001; adjusted for year of admission, gender, age, deprivation quintile and number of comorbidities OR 1.42, 95% CI 1.40 to 1.43, p<0.0001).
Despite a general reduction in mortality over the last 11 years, there is still a significant excess mortality associated with weekend emergency admissions. Further research should be undertaken to identify the precise mechanisms underlying this effect so that measures can be put in place to reduce patient mortality.
PMCID: PMC3533021  PMID: 23135542
Accident & Emergency Medicine
17.  Acute Variceal Hemorrhage in Patients with Liver Cirrhosis: Weekend versus Weekday Admissions 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2012;53(2):318-327.
Little is known about the impact of weekend admission on acute variceal hemorrhage (AVH). Thus, we investigated whether day of admission due to AVH influenced in-hospital mortality.
Materials and Methods
We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 294 patients with cirrhosis admitted between January 2005 and February 2009 for the management of AVH. Clinical characteristics were compared between patients with weekend and weekday admission, and independent risk factors for in-hospital mortality were determined by multivariate binary logistic regression analysis.
No demographic differences were observed between patients according to admission day or in the clinical course during hospitalization. Seventeen (23.0%) of 74 patients with weekend admission and 48 (21.8%) of 220 with weekday admission died during hospitalization (p=0.872). Univariate and subsequent multivariate analysis showed that initial presentation with hematochezia [p=0.042; hazard ratio (HR), 2.605; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.038-6.541], in-patient status at the time of bleeding (p=0.003; HR, 4.084; 95% CI, 1.598-10.435), Child-Pugh score (p<0.001; HR, 1.877; 95% CI, 1.516-2.324), and number of endoscopy sessions for complete hemostasis (p=0.001; HR, 3.864; 95% CI, 1.802-8.288) were independent predictors for in-hospital mortality.
Weekend admission did not influence in-hospital mortality in patients with cirrhosis who presented AVH.
PMCID: PMC3282972  PMID: 22318819
Cirrhosis; endoscopy; esophageal and gastric varices; hemorrhage; mortality
18.  Off hour admission to an intensivist-led ICU is not associated with increased mortality 
Critical Care  2009;13(3):R84.
Caring for the critically ill is a 24-hour-a-day responsibility, but not all resources and staff are available during off hours. We evaluated whether intensive care unit (ICU) admission during off hours affects hospital mortality.
This retrospective multicentre cohort study was carried out in three non-academic teaching hospitals in the Netherlands. All consecutive patients admitted to the three ICUs between 2004 and 2007 were included in the study, except for patients who did not fulfil APACHE II criteria (readmissions, burns, cardiac surgery, younger than 16 years, length of stay less than 8 hours). Data were collected prospectively in the ICU databases. Hospital mortality was the primary endpoint of the study. Off hours was defined as the interval between 10 pm and 8 am during weekdays and between 6 pm and 9 am during weekends. Intensivists, with no responsibilities outside the ICU, were present in the ICU during daytime and available for either consultation or assistance on site during off hours. Residents were available 24 hours a day 7 days a week in two and fellows in one of the ICUs.
A total of 6725 patients were included in the study, 4553 (67.7%) admitted during daytime and 2172 (32.3%) admitted during off hours. Baseline characteristics of patients admitted during daytime were significantly different from those of patients admitted during off hours. Hospital mortality was 767 (16.8%) in patients admitted during daytime and 469 (21.6%) in patients admitted during off hours (P < 0.001, unadjusted odds ratio 1.36, 95%CI 1.20–1.55). Standardized mortality ratios were similar for patients admitted during off hours and patients admitted during daytime. In a logistic regression model APACHE II expected mortality, age and admission type were all significant confounders but off-hours admission was not significantly associated with a higher mortality (P = 0.121, adjusted odds ratio 1.125, 95%CI 0.969–1.306).
The increased mortality after ICU admission during off hours is explained by a higher illness severity in patients admitted during off hours.
PMCID: PMC2717451  PMID: 19500333
19.  Stroke Mortality, Clinical Presentation and Day of Arrival: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study 
Stroke Research and Treatment  2011;2011:383012.
Background. Recent studies report that acute stroke patients who present to the hospital on weekends have higher rates of 28-day mortality than similar patients who arrive during the week. However, how this association is related to clinical presentation and stroke type has not been systematically investigated. Methods and Results. We examined the association between day of arrival and 28-day mortality in 929 validated stroke events in the ARIC cohort from 1987–2004. Weekend arrival was defined as any arrival time from midnight Friday until midnight Sunday. Mortality was defined as all-cause fatal events from the day of arrival through the 28th day of followup. The presence or absence of thirteen stroke signs and symptoms were obtained through medical record review for each event. Binomial logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (OR; 95% CI) for the association between weekend arrival and 28-day mortality for all stroke events and for stroke subtypes. The overall risk of 28-day mortality was 9.6% for weekday strokes and 10.1% for weekend strokes. In models controlling for patient demographics, clinical risk factors, and event year, weekend arrival was not associated with 28-day mortality (0.87; 0.51, 1.50). When stratified by stroke type, weekend arrival was not associated with increased odds of mortality for ischemic (1.17, 0.62, 2.23) or hemorrhagic (0.37; 0.11, 1.26) stroke patients. Conclusions. Presence or absence of thirteen signs and symptoms was similar for weekday patients and weekend patients when stratified by stroke type. Weekend arrival was not associated with 28-day all-cause mortality or differences in symptom presentation for strokes in this cohort.
PMCID: PMC3137964  PMID: 21772968
20.  Weekend and nighttime effect on the prognosis of peptic ulcer bleeding 
AIM: To evaluate whether weekend or nighttime admission affects prognosis of peptic ulcer bleeding despite early endoscopy.
METHODS: Retrospective data collection from four referral centers, all of which had a formal out-of-hours emergency endoscopy service, even at weekends. A total of 388 patients with bleeding peptic ulcers who were admitted via the emergency room between January 2007 and December 2009 were enrolled. Analyzed parameters included time from patients’ arrival until endoscopy, mortality, rebleeding, need for surgery and length of hospital stay.
RESULTS: The weekday and weekend admission groups comprised 326 and 62 patients, respectively. There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics between the two groups, except for younger age in the weekend group. Most patients (97%) had undergone early endoscopy, which resulted in a low mortality rate regardless of point of presentation (1.8% overall vs 1.6% on the weekend). The only outcome that was worse in the weekend group was a higher rate of rebleeding (12% vs 21%, P = 0.030). However, multivariate analysis revealed nighttime admission and a high Rockall score (≥ 6) as significant independent risk factors for rebleeding, rather than weekend admission.
CONCLUSION: Early endoscopy for peptic ulcer bleeding can prevent the weekend effect, and nighttime admission was identified as a novel risk factor for rebleeding, namely the nighttime effect.
PMCID: PMC3400860  PMID: 22826623
Early endoscopy; Nighttime effect; Peptic ulcer bleeding; Rebleeding; Weekend effect
21.  Association of lifestyle-related factors with circadian onset patterns of acute myocardial infarction: a prospective observational study in Japan 
BMJ Open  2014;4(6):e005067.
The onset of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) shows characteristic circadian variations involving a definite morning peak and a less-defined night-time peak. However, the factors influencing the circadian patterns of AMI onset and their influence on morning and night-time peaks have not been fully elucidated.
Design, setting and participants
An analysis of patients registered between 1998 and 2008 in the Osaka Acute Coronary Insufficiency Study, which is a prospective, multicentre observational study of patients with AMI in the Osaka region of Japan. The present study included 7755 consecutive patients with a known time of AMI onset.
Main outcomes and measures
A mixture of two von Mises distributions was used to examine whether a circadian pattern of AMI had uniform, unimodal or bimodal distribution, and the likelihood ratio test was then used to select the best circadian pattern among them. The hierarchical likelihood ratio test was used to identify factors affecting the circadian patterns of AMI onset. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to estimate survival curves of 1-year mortality according to AMI onset time.
The overall population had a bimodal circadian pattern of AMI onset characterised by a high and sharp morning peak and a lower and less-defined night-time peak (bimodal p<0.001). Although several lifestyle-related factors had a statistically significant association with the circadian patterns of AMI onset, serum triglyceride levels had the most prominent association with the circadian patterns of AMI onset. Patients with triglyceride ≥150 mg/dL on admission had only one morning peak in the circadian pattern of AMI onset during weekdays, with no peaks detected on weekends, whereas all other subgroups had two peaks throughout the week.
The circadian pattern of AMI onset was characterised by bimodality. Notably, several lifestyle-related factors, particularly serum triglyceride levels, had a strong relation with the circadian pattern of AMI onset.
Trial registration number
PMCID: PMC4054644  PMID: 24907246
22.  Do Hospitals Provide Lower Quality Care on Weekends? 
Health Services Research  2007;42(4):1589-1612.
To examine the effect of a weekend hospitalization on the timing and incidence of intensive cardiac procedures, and on subsequent expenditures, mortality and readmission rates for Medicare patients hospitalized with acute myocardial infarction (AMI).
Data Sources
The primary data are longitudinal, administrative claims for 922,074 elderly, nonrural, fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries hospitalized with AMI from 1989 to 1998. Annual patient-level cohorts provide information on ex ante health status, procedure use, expenditures, and health outcomes.
Study Design
The patient is the primary unit of analysis. I use ordinary least squares regression to estimate the effect of weekend hospitalization on rates of cardiac catheterization, angioplasty, and bypass surgery (in various time periods subsequent to the initial hospitalization), 1-year expenditures and rates of adverse health outcomes in various periods following the AMI admission.
Principal Findings
Weekend AMI patients are significantly less likely to receive immediate intensive cardiac procedures, and experience significantly higher rates of adverse health outcomes. Weekend admission leads to a 3.47 percentage point reduction in catheterization at 1 day, a 1.52 point reduction in angioplasty, and a 0.35 point reduction in by-pass surgery (p < 0.001 in all cases). The primary effect is delayed treatment, as weekend–weekday procedure differentials narrow over time from the initial hospitalization. Weekend patients experience a 0.38 percentage point (p < 0.001) increase in 1-year mortality and a 0.20 point (p < 0.001) increase in 1-year readmission with congestive heart failure.
Weekend hospitalization leads to delayed provision of intensive procedures and elevated 1-year mortality for elderly AMI patients. The existence of measurable differences in treatments raises questions regarding the efficacy of a single input regulation (e.g., mandated nurse staffing ratios) in enhancing the quality of weekend care. My results suggest that targeted financial incentives might be a more cost-effective policy response than broad regulation aimed at improving quality.
PMCID: PMC1955270  PMID: 17610439
Temporal variation; myocardial infarction; Medicare beneficiaries
23.  Community-onset bloodstream infection during the ‘after hours’ is not associated with an increased risk for death 
Patients admitted to hospital during the ‘after hours’ (weekends and evenings) may be at increased risk for adverse outcome. The objective of the present study was to assess whether community-onset bloodstream infections presenting in the after hours are associated with death.
All patients in the Victoria area of British Columbia, who had first admissions with community-onset bloodstream infections between 1998 and 2005 were included. The day of admission to hospital, the day and time of culture draw, and all-cause, in-hospital mortality were ascertained.
A total of 2108 patients were studied. Twenty-six per cent of patients were admitted on a weekend. Blood cultures were drawn on a weekend in 27% of cases and, in 43%, 33%, and 25% of cases, cultures were drawn during the day (08:00 to 17:59), the evening (18:00 to 22:59) and night (23:00 to 07:59), respectively. More than two-thirds (69%) of index cultures were drawn during the after hours (any time Saturday or Sunday and weekdays 18:00 to 07:59). The overall in-hospital case fatality rate was 13%. No difference in mortality was observed in relation to the day of the week of admission or time period of sampling. After-hours sampling was not associated with mortality in a multivariable logistic regression model examining factors associated with death.
Presentation with community-onset, bloodstream infection during the after hours does not increase the risk of death.
PMCID: PMC3597392  PMID: 24294269
Bacteremia; Bloodstream infection; Mortality; Weekend
24.  Weekend hospitalization and additional risk of death: An analysis of inpatient data 
To assess whether weekend admissions to hospital and/or already being an inpatient on weekend days were associated with any additional mortality risk.
Retrospective observational survivorship study. We analysed all admissions to the English National Health Service (NHS) during the financial year 2009/10, following up all patients for 30 days after admission and accounting for risk of death associated with diagnosis, co-morbidities, admission history, age, sex, ethnicity, deprivation, seasonality, day of admission and hospital trust, including day of death as a time dependent covariate. The principal analysis was based on time to in-hospital death.
National Health Service Hospitals in England.
Main Outcome Measures
30 day mortality (in or out of hospital).
There were 14,217,640 admissions included in the principal analysis, with 187,337 in-hospital deaths reported within 30 days of admission. Admission on weekend days was associated with a considerable increase in risk of subsequent death compared with admission on weekdays, hazard ratio for Sunday versus Wednesday 1.16 (95% CI 1.14 to 1.18; P < .0001), and for Saturday versus Wednesday 1.11 (95% CI 1.09 to 1.13; P < .0001). Hospital stays on weekend days were associated with a lower risk of death than midweek days, hazard ratio for being in hospital on Sunday versus Wednesday 0.92 (95% CI 0.91 to 0.94; P < .0001), and for Saturday versus Wednesday 0.95 (95% CI 0.93 to 0.96; P < .0001). Similar findings were observed on a smaller US data set.
Admission at the weekend is associated with increased risk of subsequent death within 30 days of admission. The likelihood of death actually occurring is less on a weekend day than on a mid-week day.
PMCID: PMC3284293  PMID: 22307037
25.  Effects of hospital delivery during off-hours on perinatal outcome in several subgroups: a retrospective cohort study 
Studies have demonstrated a higher risk of adverse outcomes among infants born or admitted during off-hours, as compared to office hours, leading to questions about quality of care provide during off-hours (weekend, evening or night). We aim to determine the relationship between off-hours delivery and adverse perinatal outcomes for subgroups of hospital births.
This retrospective cohort study was based on data from the Netherlands Perinatal Registry, a countrywide registry that covers 99% of all hospital births in the Netherlands. Data of 449,714 infants, born at 28 completed weeks or later, in the period 2003 through 2007 were used. Infants with a high a priori risk of morbidity or mortality were excluded. Outcome measures were intrapartum and early neonatal mortality, a low Apgar score (5 minute score of 0–6), and a composite adverse perinatal outcome measure (mortality, low Apgar score, severe birth trauma, admission to a neonatal intensive care unit).
Evening and night-time deliveries that involved induction or augmentation of labour, or an emergency caesarean section, were associated with an increased risk of an adverse perinatal outcome when compared to similar daytime deliveries. Weekend deliveries were not associated with an increased risk when compared to weekday deliveries. It was estimated that each year, between 126 and 141 cases with an adverse perinatal outcomes could be attributed to this evening and night effect. Of these, 21 (15-16%) are intrapartum or early neonatal death. Among the 3100 infants in the study population who experience an adverse outcome each year, death accounted for only 5% (165) of these outcomes.
This study shows that for infants whose mothers require obstetric interventions during labour and delivery, birth in the evening or at night, are at an increased risk of an adverse perinatal outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3496693  PMID: 22958736
Time of birth; Night; Weekend; Delivery; Perinatal mortality; Perinatal morbidity; Hospital care; Quality of health care

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