While there may never really be a great time to go to the hospital, there are a few specific times of the year and even times of day when the hospital is best avoided, if possible. Medical mistakes are more likely during those times.
Medical mistakes happen more frequently in July, particularly in teaching hospitals and academic medical institutions. During July, new medical school graduates start their jobs at teaching hospitals, while the experienced doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel start their summer vacations. The fourth of July holiday exacerbates this phenomenon, dubbed “The July Effect.”
One study found that medication prescription errors spiked specifically in teaching hospitals in July. The July Effect didn’t hold true for surgical errors, however, whether in teaching hospitals or other hospitals, probably because new residents are less likely to perform surgeries.
What the July Effect tells us is to avoid teaching hospitals in July if you can.
Other times to avoid the hospital: holidays, weekends, and evenings, because the higher ranking (and usually more skilled) medical professionals are likely to have those times off.
Hit up the article linked below for more advice on reducing your chances of being the victim of a medical error and what to do if you’re admitted to the hospital anyway.