Friday, November 4, 2011

Nurses Key to Reducing Readmissions

Yesterday's article on, "Readmissions have hospitals stymied," discussed a recent Dartmouth Atlas Project report which indicated that little progress has been made in reducing hospital readmissions for Medicare patients over a five-year period. In addition, the report demonstrated that readmissions for patients with some conditions are actually increasing.

The work of INQRI researchers at Marquette University suggests that increasing the number of nurses involved with discharge might reduce some of those readmissions. Marianne Weiss, Olga Yakusheva and their team found that having more registered nurses working on a hospital unit and reducing the amount of nurses' overtime hours are correlated with fewer patients being readmitted or visiting the emergency department within the first 30 days after hospital discharge. They also found a positive correlation between the number of nurse staffing hours and patients’ satisfaction with the quality of discharge teaching and subsequent readiness to go home.

Click here to learn more about the Marquette study.


  1. This supports the need for Advanced Practice Nurses!

  2. This also supports the fact that we cannot overlook staffing issues. I have recently done extensive research related to this study and found that the cost of hospital re-admissions is $17 billion dollars annually according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. Decreasing the RN's workload also decreases infection rates, deaths and hospital re-admissions. Nurses are being demanded or begged to work more and longer hours because of shortages, but in the long run retaining and recruiting RN's is more cost effective and patients have better outcomes. My next question is, are hospitals resisting increasing staffing levels because of cost, or are there truly not enough nurses to fill available positions?
    Jordan in Colorado