A new study in Medical Care, conducted by Matthew McHugh, an RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholar, finds that the lower mortality rates at Magnet Hospitals are achieved in part because of investments in nursing. This study reflects many of the findings of INQRI studies into the impact of nurse staffing, work environment and education on quality of patient care.
McHugh and his colleagues compared investment in nursing and patient outcomes at Magnet and non-Magnet hospitals in California, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. They found significant differences in nursing at Magnet hospitals, including better work environments, higher nurse-to-patient staffing ratios, and higher proportions of nursing with bachelor's degrees and specialty certification. Magnet hospitals also had better patient outcomes, including lower "failure to rescue" and mortality rates. They also reported that the Magnet application process may also play a role in promoting higher quality care.
A summary of the study is on Science Codex.