%0 Journal Article
%A Touch, Suzanne M.
%A Greenspan, Jay S.
%A Kornhauser, Michael S.
%A O'Connor, John P.
%A Nash, David B.
%A Spitzer, Alan R.
%T The Timing of Neonatal Discharge: An Example of Unwarranted Variation?
%D 2001
%R 10.1542/peds.107.1.73
%J Pediatrics
%P 73-77
%V 107
%N 1
%X Discharge from an intensive care nursery should be dependent on the infant's clinical and social condition and independent of the day of the week.Objective. To evaluate admission and discharge dates of 5272 neonates cared for in 5 major metropolitan regions in the United States and managed by a national disease management company for the distribution of the day of the week.Study Design. All infants discharged to home between July 1, 1996 and September 30, 1998 are included. Data are represented as a percentage of total discharges or admissions for each weekday assignment. Using the normal approximation to the multinomial distribution, we tested for proportional differences on each weekday.Results. The data demonstrate that the timing of nursery discharge has an uneven distribution across the days of the week, with weekend (Saturday and Sunday) discharge rates that are significantly lower than weekday discharge rates. This uneven distribution exists in both the term and preterm subgroups as well. There is also an uneven distribution of births among the days of the week, with a pattern that reveals fewer weekend births than weekday births in the entire population studied, as well as in both the term and preterm subgroups. Normalizing these weekend discharges to the previous weekday could generate potential saving of $1 569 405 in charges for the total population and 627 days of hospitalization. The average length of stay of infants discharged on Mondays is longer than for those infants discharged on Saturday or Sunday.Conclusions. We speculate that changes in discharge planning could decrease the variation in day of discharge, shorten length of hospitalization, and potentially reduce cost.
%U https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/107/1/73.full.pdf