Out-of-hours discharge from the intensive care unit (ICU) to the ward is associated with increased in-hospital mortality and ICU readmission. This study in the journal Critical Care Medicine was part of the REcovery FoLlowing intensive CarE Treatment mixed methods study. It aimed to map the discharge process and describe the consequences of out-of-hours discharge to inform practice changes to reduce the impact of discharge at night.
The study identified significant limitations in out-of-hours care provision following overnight discharge from ICU. The authors recommend changes to help make daytime discharge more likely, and new systems to ensure patient safety where night time discharge is unavoidable.