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Weakened Hospital Care During Weekends

According to a recent survey, hospital mortality is on the high during weekends. This is attributed to the quality of medical care not matching with the inflow// of the patients. This study was conducted by William J. Kostis and his team from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in New Brunswick.

Kostis studied 231,164 patients who were admitted to New Jersey Hospitals between the years 1987 and 2002. These were patients suffering from myocardial infarction. Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is the recommended procedure for myocardial infarction which will improve their blood flow to the heart.

Kostis observed that patients who come to the hospital during weekends were about one third less likely to get PCI than patients who came during the week days. An earlier study indicates that there is a 23% mortality rate in weekend hospital admissions.

Researchers suggest few measures which will aid in the improvement of patient care while avoiding undue demands on the physicians. Increase of staffs and their compensation and providing PCI, colonoscopy and miscellaneous advanced services during weekends are bound to help in this issue. Applying premiums to medicare reimbursement for weekend treatments also would better the patient care.

For the patients too, Kostis has a few guidelines to be followed. He suggests that patients should not postpone their visit to the hospital for weekends. He also adds that primary care physician should be visited on a regular basis to rule out any cardiac disorder.

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