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Schneider EB, Hirani SA, Hambridge HL, et al. J Surg Res. 2012;177:295-300.
Being admitted to the hospital on a weekend is potentially dangerous, as studies have shown that preventable complications and mortality are increased across a range of common diagnoses for weekend admissions compared with weekdays. One exception appears to be trauma, as a prior study found equal outcomes in patients with traumatic injuries regardless of the day of admission, a finding ascribed to the protocolized and closely supervised nature of trauma care. However, this study of older adults admitted with traumatic brain injury did find increased mortality for those patients admitted on the weekend, despite the fact that patients admitted on the weekend were less severely injured. A limitation of this study is that the authors were not able to analyze outcomes for patients cared for at specialized trauma centers. Nevertheless, the study adds to the considerable body of research documenting the dangers of weekend hospital admission.
Nagpal K, Arora S, Abboudi M, et al. Ann Surg. 2010;252:171-6.
This qualitative study interviewed 18 providers and found that postoperative handovers are informal, unstructured, and fraught with inconsistent and incomplete information transfer. These data were used to develop and validate a formal handover protocol. Prior studies have used insights from Formula One auto racing to inform improvement strategies for postoperative handoffs, and the World Health Organization's Surgical Safety Checklist explicitly emphasizes structured handoffs at the time of patient transfer from the operating room to the postoperative area.