Don't Let Nurses Sink Your Bottom Line
For example, one study found that higher levels of RN hours per patient day (nurse staffing ratios) were associated with lower central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSI); catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) rates. It also found that critical care units with higher percentages of RNs holding national specialty certifications had lower CLABSI and CAUTI rates.
Here's the clincher: The reverse is also true. A different study showed that nurse burnout is linked to higher healthcare-associated infection rates (HAIs), and as a result, higher costs.
According to the Press Ganey study [resgistration required], the closer a measure is statistically to the "communication with nurses" measure, the more it will improve after the nursing measure is improved.
Another example: "responsiveness of hospital staff" follows communications with nurses very closely, and will improve more and at a faster clip than other measures, such as "overall rating" which is further behind.
The study calls for investing significant time and resources into improving the "communication with nurses" measure, and recommends several best practices for hospitals: "Consistent and purposeful hourly rounding, bedside shift reporting, use of scripts, post-discharge phone calls, hiring nursing candidates who exhibit strong interpersonal skills, and providing service skills training with periodic reinforcement."
Are you managing your nursing staff in a way that's consistent with preserving reimbursements?
Alexandra Wilson Pecci is a managing editor for HealthLeaders Media.
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