Weekend hospital discharge is associated with suboptimal care and outcomes: An observational Australian Stroke Clinical Registry study

Monique F. Kilkenny, Natasha A. Lannin, Chris Levi, Steven G. Faux, Helen M. Dewey, Rohan Grimley, Kelvin Hill, Brenda Grabsch, Joosup Kim, Peter Hand, Vanessa Crosby, Michele Gardner, Juan Rois-Gnecco, Vincent Thijs, Craig S. Anderson, Geoffrey Donnan, Sandy Middleton, Dominique A. Cadilhac, on behalf of the AuSCR Consortium

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The quality of stroke care may diminish on weekends. Aims: We aimed to compare the quality of care and outcomes for patients with stroke/transient ischemic attack discharged on weekdays compared with those discharged on weekends. Methods: Data from the Australian Stroke Clinical Registry from January 2010 to December 2015 (n = 45 hospitals) were analyzed. Differences in processes of care by the timing of discharge are described. Multilevel regression and survival analyses (up to 180 days postevent) were undertaken. Results: Among 30,649 registrants, 2621 (8.6%) were discharged on weekends (55% male; median age 74 years). Compared to those discharged on weekdays, patients discharged on weekends were more often patients with a transient ischemic attack (weekend 35% vs. 19%; p < 0.001) but were less often treated in a stroke unit (69% vs. 81%; p < 0.001), prescribed antihypertensive medication at discharge (65% vs. 71%; p < 0.001) or received a care plan if discharged to the community (47% vs. 53%; p < 0.001). After accounting for patient characteristics and clustering by hospital, patients discharged on weekends had a 1 day shorter length of stay (coefficient = −1.31, 95% confidence interval [CI] = −1.52, −1.10), were less often discharged to inpatient rehabilitation (aOR = 0.39, 95% CI = 0.34, 0.44) and had a greater hazard of death within 180 days (hazard ratio = 1.22, 95% CI = 1.04, 1.42) than those discharged on weekdays. Conclusions: Patients with stroke/transient ischemic attack discharged on weekends were more likely to receive suboptimal care and have higher long-term mortality. High quality of stroke care should be consistent irrespective of the timing of hospital discharge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)430-438
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Stroke
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • clinical indicators
  • outcomes
  • quality care
  • stroke
  • transient ischemic attack
  • weekday
  • Weekend

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