The quality of care you get from doctors could depend on the time of the day you visit a hospital. A study from a university in the USA found a big difference in the decision-making of physicians at different times of the day. The study concluded that our chances of getting screened for cancer were a lot higher in the morning than in the late afternoon. Researchers investigated the number of women assigned to breast cancer screening. They found that in the hour after 8am, doctors ordered screenings for 64% of women who were eligible for tests. This figure dropped to 48% at 5pm.
The researchers said the reduction in screenings as the day progressed could be due to "decision fatigue" - a mental burn-out that interrupts a person's ability to make decisions the longer they work. A researcher said his study added to, "the growing evidence that the time of the day and decision fatigue impacts patient care". Another researcher agreed, saying: "The downward trend of ordering screenings may be the result of decision fatigue, where people may be less inclined to consider a new decision after they've been making them all day." She also blamed overworked doctors.