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Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med. 2011 Jun 9;19:33. doi: 10.1186/1757-7241-19-33.

The 'off-hour' effect in trauma care: a possible quality indicator with appealing characteristics.


A recent paper has drawn attention to the paucity of widely accepted quality indicators for trauma care. At the same time, several studies have measured whether mortality of trauma patients changes between normal working time and other parts of the day/week, i.e. the so-called 'off-hour' or 'weekend' effect. This measure has the characteristics to become an accepted quality indicator because it combines the advantages of both outcome and process indicators. As an outcome indicator it would not need validation, a procedure particularly difficult in trauma care where gathering scientific evidence is more difficult than in other disciplines. As a process indicator it would provide indications about where to intervene to improve quality.

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