Update: I’ve changed the headline, because people kept answering the wrong question.:-) The right question is here:
Attention patient voices around the world: what questions should researchers look at to see if there is a difference between weekend and weekday services in hospitals?
In the UK a major debate is underway about the weekend effect in hospital services: are they less safe, how are they different, etc? The image at right, from Wikipedia, is one example: the red line shows that death rate for stroke patients improves dramatically when nurse coverage is not close to zero.
I’m on the BMJ editors’ patient panel, and Rosamund Snow, the BMJ’s patient editor, points out that from the patient’s perspective there’s a lot more to look at than death rate.
That’s a pretty crude measure of whether a hospital’s performance is affected, eh? “What are you complaining about? She didn’t die, did she?” What about things like falls, medication errors, access to needed surgery, and on and on and on.
So Rosamund has decided to seek patient thoughts on the subject, hallelujah.
Of course UK experience is important but what are your experiences in any country? Mostly we’re seeking patient experience, but physician experience in other countries could be useful, especially if a system made a change that created a clear difference, better or worse. Both data and anecdotes are welcome.
Most important, though: What questions should researchers look at to see if there is a difference between weekend and weekday services?