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What’s New in the Patient Safety World

November 2022

Timing Is Everything

 

 

We’ve done lots of columns on the effect of time of day on your surgery and impact of day of the week on patient outcomes. But another important example was just published. Diestre and colleagues (Diestre 2022) reported on “The Friday Effect”. They found that safety alerts issued by health regulators about new drug-related side effects are not equally effective. Safety alerts announced on Fridays are less broadly diffused: they are shared 34% less on social media, mentioned in 23% to 66% fewer news articles, and are 12% to 51% less likely to receive any news coverage at all. They found that moving a Friday alert to any other weekday would reduce all drug-related side effects by 9% to 12%, serious drug-related complications by 6% to 15%, and drug-related deaths by 22% to 36%.

 

They note that this problem is particularly important because Friday was the most frequent weekday for safety alert announcements from 1999 to 2016. And that is probably not a random phenomenon. They go on to show that firms that lobbied the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the past are 49% to 56% more likely to have safety alerts announced on Fridays. For companies that did not lobby the FDA, alerts were more evenly spread throughout the work week, with Thursdays equally as likely as Fridays, and Tuesdays and Wednesdays close behind.

 

Sound familiar? Politicians typically release bad news on Friday evenings, knowing it will get less attention over the weekend and might disappear from the news cycle. Sounds like Big Pharma has the same media consultants!

 

 

 

Some of our previous columns on the “weekend effect”:

·       February 26, 2008     “Nightmares….The Hospital at Night”

·       December 15, 2009   “The Weekend Effect”

·       July 20, 2010             “More on the Weekend Effect/After-Hours Effect”

·       October 2008            “Hospital at Night Project”

·       September 2009        “After-Hours Surgery – Is There a Downside?”

·       December 21, 2010   “More Bad News About Off-Hours Care”

·       June 2011                  “Another Study on Dangers of Weekend Admissions”

·       September 2011        “Add COPD to Perilous Weekends”

·       August 2012              “More on the Weekend Effect”

·       June 2013                  “Oh No! Not Fridays Too!”

·       November 2013        “The Weekend Effect: Not One Simple Answer”

·       August 2014              “The Weekend Effect in Pediatric Surgery”

·       October 2014            “What Time of Day Do You Want Your Surgery?”

·       December 2014         “Another Procedure to Avoid Late in the Day or on Weekends”

·       January 2015             “Emergency Surgery Also Very Costly”

·       May 2015                  “HAC’s and the Weekend Effect”

·       August 2015              “More Stats on the Weekend Effect”

·       September 2015        “Surgery Previous Night Does Not Impact Attending Surgeon Next Day”

·       February 23, 2016     “Weekend Effect Solutions?”

·       June 2016                  “Weekend Effect Challenged”

·       October 4, 2016        “More on After-Hours Surgery”

·       July 25, 2017             “Can We Influence the “Weekend Effect”?”

·       August 15, 2017        “Delayed Emergency Surgery and Mortality Risk”

·       September 2020        “Care Processes and the Weekend Effect”

·       October 13, 2020      “Night-Time Surgery”

·       December 15, 2020   “Our Perennial Pre-Holiday Warning: “Be Careful Out There!””

·       May 2022                  “Another Weekend Effect Phenomenon”

 

 

Some of our previous columns on “after-hours” surgery:

·       September 2009        “After-Hours Surgery – Is There a Downside?”

·       October 2014            “What Time of Day Do You Want Your Surgery?”

·       January 2015             “Emergency Surgery Also Very Costly”

·       September 2015        “Surgery Previous Night Does Not Impact Attending Surgeon Next Day”

·       October 4, 2016        “More on After-Hours Surgery”

·       August 15, 2017        “Delayed Emergency Surgery and Mortality Risk”

·       October 24, 2017      “Neurosurgery and Time of Day”

·       December 2019         “Surgeon On-Call Shifts”

·       October 13, 2020      “Night-Time Surgery”

 

 

 

References:

 

 

Diestre L, Barber B, Santalσ J. The Friday Effect: Firm Lobbying, the Timing of Drug Safety Alerts, and Drug Side Effects. Management Science 2020; 66(8): 3677-3698

https://pubsonline.informs.org/doi/10.1287/mnsc.2019.3386

 

 

 

 

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