Home E-Weekly April 4, 2017

EHRs Found to Mitigate "Weekend Effect"

Published: April 3, 2017

WEEKEND WARRIOR Sophisticated EHR features may reduce the weekend effect by more than 30%.

EHRs may not be the most popular innovation in modern health care, but a recent study finds they may have real value in reducing the longer stays, higher mortality rates and greater numbers of readmissions associated with patients who have surgery on weekends — the so-called "weekend effect."

The study, which was done with predictive analytics by researchers at Loyola Medicine and published in JAMA Surgery, found that among 2,979 patients admitted on weekends for appendectomies, acute hernia repairs and cholecystectomies, 32% (946) had longer stays than would normally be expected. But patients were less likely to experience the weekend effect if they underwent surgery in hospitals with high-speed EHR connectivity, EHR in the OR, electronic OR scheduling, computerized physician ordering systems and electronic bed management systems.

Among the most notable features that were associated with improved surgical performance: Patients at hospitals with electronic operating room scheduling were 33% less likely to suffer the weekend effect, and those at hospitals with electronic bed-management systems were 35% less likely.

Jim Burger

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