Shrink Readmissions by Adding Nurses
"When you think of nurse staffing studies, you can't take a lot of the results as seriously as you might otherwise because they're comparing apples to oranges," McHugh says. "We were able to take a measure of nurse staffing based on hours-per-patient-day and create matched pairs across the country. Each hospital had basically a twin, as similar as possible in all manner and respect except for nurse staffing."
The researchers made sure the hospitals were matched in terms of low-income patients, case mix, and teaching status. Doing so eliminated as many other variables as possible that could affect readmissions other than nurse staffing. It also allowed them to compare and isolate the effect of a much higher level of nurse staffing.
Still, left to CEOs and other upper management team members is what action to take from what the study reveals. The highest performing hospitals differed with the lowest performing ones by about three hours of nursing time per patient per day, "which is a lot," concedes McHugh, who adds, "we didn't go into calculating the financial trade-off."
That raises another difficult point: the financial implications.
- CMS Sets 2014 Pay Rates for Hospital Outpatient and Physician Services
- FDA hopes hospitals will switch to newly regulated pharmacies
- Not-for-Profit Hospitals Find Opportunity Amid Uncertainty
- The 5 Biggest Healthcare Finance Trouble Spots
- The Most Polarizing Topics in Healthcare IT
- New G-Code to Pay Doctors for Broad Array of Non-Face-to-Face Care
- Why You Should Involve Patients in Nursing Handoffs
- How CPOE Will Make Healthcare Smarter
- States Rejecting Medicaid Expansion Forgo Billions in Federal Funds
- Safety Net Executives Renew Call to Preserve DSH Payments