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Risk of hospital patient mortality increases with nurse staffing shortfalls, study finds
Date:3/17/2011

and finds that, indeed, nurse staffing is hugely important," Needleman said. "Since the hospital we studied delivers high-quality care, has low mortality rates, has high nurse-staffing targets and meets its targets over 85 percent of the time, it's unlikely the increased mortality we observe is due to general quality problems.

"We believe that these findings apply to all hospitals those like the one we studied, where staffing is generally high and targets are usually met, and hospitals that are less successful in achieving staffing levels needed to meet patient needs and keep them safe," he said.

"I believe this study sets a new standard for rigor," said study author Peter Buerhaus, a professor of nursing at Vanderbilt University. "The results reinforce the importance of hospital management, physicians and nurses working closer together to examine all the elements that contribute to providing patient care, including nurse staffing, to be sure that each patient's welfare is assured throughout their entire hospital stay."

"These results can be used to shift the national dialogue," Harris said. "It moves it away from questioning whether nurse staffing impacts patient outcomes, to focusing on the most effective ways to deliver nursing care and how current and emerging payment systems can reward hospitals' efforts to ensure adequate staffing."


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Contact: Sarah Anderson
sanderson@ph.ucla.edu
310-267-0440
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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