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Higher Risk of Death or Readmission for Patients Discharged During December Holiday Period

A new study found that patients discharged from hospital in Ontario, Canada, during the December holiday period are less likely to have prompt outpatient follow-up and are at higher risk of death or readmission within 30 days.  The study, published in the BMJ, focused on patients discharged to the community (not to a nursing home, rehabilitation centre, or other acute care facility) after an urgent hospital admission in Ontario between 1 April 2002 and 31 January 2016. This study found that Ontarians discharged from hospital during the two week December holiday period had an increased risk of 30 day death or readmission compared with patients discharged during late November and January. The greatest holiday related increase in risk was within seven days of hospital discharge. Patients discharged during the December holiday were also less likely to have follow-up with a physician within seven and 14 days of hospital discharge.

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