Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Nurse Staffing Ratios Can Affect Outcomes for Cardiac Patients

A study published online in JAMA Internal Medicine finds that hgher nurse-to-patient staffing ratios may improve survival rates for cardiac patients and help reduce the incidence of inhospital cardiac arrest. The study, led by Lena Chen of the University of Michigan, found that one factor that was constant in hospitals with higher survival rates and lower arrest rates was higher nurse staffing.

The study included more than 100,000 patients at 358 hospitals, it is reported on in Medpage Today.

Several INQRI studies have focused on the impact of nursing staffing on patient outcomes. A study led by Mary Blegen and Tom Vaughn found that higher nurse staffing levels reduce rates of infection, mortality due to congestive heart failure, failure to rescue, and prolonged hospital stays.

These findings support the need to address the nursing faculty shortage and the projected nursing shortage by preparing a larger, more diverse and more highly educated nursing workforce. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by 2020, the nation will require an additional 1.2 million nurses to meet the need for health care. Developing that workforce is one goal of The Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, which is working in all 50 states to advance nursing education, leadership and practice.

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