Objective: To determine whether outcomes for patients admitted with UGIH differ depending on weekend versus weekday admission, and whether any such differences are mediated by discrepancies in the use and timing of endoscopy.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional comparison of mortality, resource use, and the utilization and timing of esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) among patients admitted with upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage (UGIH) on weekends to those admitted on a weekday. Hospitals in 31 states from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample between 1998 and 2003 were included. This resulted in 75,636 patients admitted during the week and 23,339 admitted on a weekend with UGIH. Multivariable analyses were conducted to evaluate the effect of weekend admission on UGIH outcomes.
Results: Compared to patients admitted on a weekday, for those admitted on a weekend: in-hospital mortality was higher (unadjusted mortality 3.76 vs. 3.33%; P = 0.003; adjusted HR = 1.09, 95% CI = 1.00-1.18); adjusted length of stay was 1.7% longer (P = 0.0098); and adjusted in-hospital charges were 3.3% higher (P = 0.0038). Although these patients were less likely to undergo endoscopy (adjusted OR = 0.94; P = 0.004) and waited longer for this procedure (adjusted HR = 0.87; P < 0.001), these discrepancies did not fully explain their inferior outcomes.
Conclusions: Weekend admission for UGIH is associated with an increased risk of death, slightly longer lengths of stay, and marginally higher in-patient charges. Discrepancies in the use and timing of endoscopy do not account for these differences.