|A new study has just determined that around 93% of the world’s population cannot access safe and affordable surgery, most living in middle- or low-income countries. But even in the U.S., it’s been demonstrated that a single factor can dramatically and negatively impact outcomes for surgery patients: being admitted on the weekend.
That’s because hospitals often make do with fewer practitioners and resources than they do during the week, leading to longer hospital stays, higher readmission rates and higher fatality rates.
New research, however, has allowed a group from Loyola University to release a set of five guidelines that can help hospitals to overcome this so-called “weekend effect.” In order to gather data, the team examined 126,666 patient records from 117 hospitals, all located in Florida. They discovered the following (listed here in order of increasing significance):
The outlook is good on that final factor at least, as more and more hospitals are adopting EMRs due to financial incentives put in place by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In fact, use of EMRs is rising across the board. In 2013, about 78% of office-based physicians reported using an EMR system; that figure was only 18% in 2001.
EMRs are also making studies such as this one possible, the researchers said. The combination of EMRs, larger databases and more powerful computers allows for the mining of extremely large data sets in ways that would have been nearly impossible previously.
The research team reported their findings April 25 at the American Surgical Association meeting in San Diego, CA.