Patients admitted to hospitals on weekend wait longer for procedures

Of the 8 million patients who were admitted to U.S. hospitals on weekends in 2007, approximately one-third received needed major procedures on the day of admission. In comparison, patients who were admitted on weekdays received 65 percent of all major procedures on their first day in the hospital.

The report, by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, also found:

  • Nearly 7 of every 10 patients hospitalized on a weekend were admitted through the emergency department, compared with roughly 4 in 10 patients admitted during a weekday.
  • Sixty-four percent of heart attack patients admitted on a weekend had a major cardiac procedure, such as angioplasty or heart bypass surgery, performed by the second day of their hospitalization, compared with 76 percent of heart attack patients admitted on a weekday.
  • About 2.4 percent of patients admitted on a weekend died in the hospital, compared with 1.8 percent of patients admitted on a weekday.

Sources: (AHRQ News and Numbers, http://ahrq.gov, March 4, 2010, The Advisory Board Daily Briefing, http://advisory.com, March 8, 2010)