Nurse Staffing Linked to Lower Readmission Penalties
Another example is discharge prevention programs that call for a focus on high-risk patients. Those programs might be well-intended, but "if there aren't enough nurses to go around to begin with, you're adding this onto the daily work that the nurses already have to do," McHugh says.
"All of those things depend upon having an adequate number of nurses at the bedside to deliver them," he says. "If that foundation isn't there, none of these other kinds of things have a good chance of success."
In other words, hospitals can invest heavily in new programs and technologies, but without skilled professionals there to run them, to interpret the information, and to implement interventions, that investment will be undermined.
"I think these [programs] are all essential and important. I just think there's a higher level of their success in the real world if there's enough staff to implement them," McHugh says. "You can't ignore the delivery process, and that delivery process is people."
Alexandra Wilson Pecci is a managing editor for HealthLeaders Media.
- Senators Hear How Two-Midnight Rule Harms Patients, Hospitals
- 3 Management Lessons from a Supermarket Debacle
- Handshaking Spreads Germs. Get Over It.
- Healthcare Costs Start With What We Eat
- Hospitals Likely to Outsource ICD-10 at Launch
- IOM Identifies GME Problems, Calls for Finance Changes
- CMS Confirms ICD-10 Deadline
- Anatomy of 3 Health System Rebranding Efforts
- Premium Subsidy Fight Creating Uncertainty for Hospitals, Health Plans
- Medicare Advantage Carriers See 'No Choice' But to Accept Cuts