It’s remarkable that hospitals still keep weekend schedules. On Saturday and Sunday, things stop. They don’t stop, but they really do. ORs operate with emergency staffing. Routine diagnostic imaging is held until Monday morning.
Saturday and Sunday schedules are a throwback to a time when the tempo of health care was set by the doctor’s rounds and the hands of a clock. The doctor was out, then he came in. He’s off for the weekend; she’s covering. It’s after 5. This kind of medicine is as much a mindset as it is a model of care at an analog pace.
As medicine is consumed by technology and the measurement-diagnosis-response sequence happens closer to real-time, the on/off dichotomy of weekend medicine will be unsustainable. For patients, it’s already worn out its welcome, but they don’t have much say in the matter.
Mindsets and models are evolving fast. Stay tuned.
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