Friday, May 10, 2013

Higher Nurse Staffing Ratios Also Reduce Children's Hospital Readmissions

A study published in the online journal BMJ Quality and Safety in Health Care finds that higher nurse-to-patient ratios are directly correlated with reduced hospital readmissions for children with common medical and surgical conditions.

The research team was led by Heather Tubb-Cooley of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, and included Douglas Sloane and  Linda Aiken, who have conducted research into several aspects of nursing care and nurse staffing.

The study found that an increase of just one patient in a hospital's average nurse staffing ratio increased the likelihood of readmission for medical pediatric within 15 - 30 days by 11 percent, and for surgical patients by 48 percent. Researchers examined outcomes of more than 90,000 children in 225 hospitals.

A recent post on the Human Capital blog by Nancy Ryan-Wenger addresses the importance of ascertaining children's perceptions of the care they receive in the hospital. Ryan-Wenger's study to elicit children's perceptions of nursing care was funded by INQRI. She has gone on to develop a checklist that Nationwide Children's Hospital now uses in daily interviews with pediatric patients and for nurses' daily evaluations.

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