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Shrink Readmissions by Adding Nurses

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, October 11, 2013

CEOs are cognizant of staffing levels and are paying close attention to it on a financial side, but in relation to outcomes, maybe not so much, McHugh says

But clearly, nurse staffing has a connection with the quality care, patient satisfaction, and outcomes. And if hospitals and health systems are going to make the transition from volume to value, those metrics are crucially important.

A bill in Congress, (HR 1821), among other requirements, calls for staffing levels to be posted on Hospital Compare. The bill has been referred to committee and who knows if it will ultimately pass? But if it does, "that will not be comfortable for some hospitals," McHugh says, "but it would be helpful for both nurses and the public."

If you're a highly qualified, capable nurse, where would you want to work?


Philip Betbeze is senior leadership editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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1 comments on "Shrink Readmissions by Adding Nurses"


Phyllis Kritek (10/14/2013 at 3:37 PM)
Thank you for covering this studies methodology, analysis and outcomes. I would observe that Aiken, et al demonstrated that the average cut in nursing personnel in acute care in the 90s was 9%. We concurrently cut LOS dramatically, so we had far fewer nurses caring for far more seriously ill patients. Not surprisingly, the IOM announced we had serious drug errors (To Err is Human) and that apparently patient safety was related to nursing care (Keeping Patients Safe).During longer LOSs nurses were able to do continuity of care, patient education, family education and case management. We eliminated it. We discovered this was a bad idea. Now we are trying to reinvent the wheel. The answer to this issue was available in the 90s however the apparent invisibility of nursing care created this problem. This study is best understood as a part of the history of health care in the US.