The quality medical care you receive from doctors could depend the time of the day you visit a hospital or clinic. A study the University of Pennsylvania in the USA discovered a significant difference the decision-making of physicians different times of the day. The study concluded that a patient's chances of getting screened cancer were a lot higher in the morning than they were the late afternoon. Researchers investigated the numbers of women assigned to breast cancer screening the day. They found that the hour following 8am, doctors ordered screenings 64 per cent of women who were eligible for tests. This figure dropped to 48 per cent 5pm.
The researchers said the progressive reduction assigned screenings as the day progressed could be due to "decision fatigue". This is a kind mental burn-out that interrupts a person's ability to effectively make decisions the longer they work. Dr. Mitesh Patel said: "Our new study adds to the growing evidence that the time the day and decision fatigue impacts patient care." Researcher Esther Hsiang agreed, saying: "We believe that the downward trend ordering screenings may be the result decision fatigue, where people may be less inclined to consider a new decision after they've been making them all day. It may also stem overloaded clinicians getting behind as the day progresses."