Case Management

News: Study finds link between nursing staffing and mortality rates

Case Management Weekly, March 23, 2011

Hospital units with RN staff below target levels have a higher mortality rate, according to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

The results showed a statistically significant association between increased mortality and increased exposure to understaffed nursing units. The authors concluded that the results “reinforce the need to match staffing with patients' needs for nursing care.”

The authors used data from a large academic medical center involving more than 190,000 admissions and more than 176,000 eight-hour nursing shifts. The researchers specifically looked at nursing shifts where RN staffing was eight hours or more below the staffing target.

Source: The New England Journal of Medicine

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