SDW news brief: Better nurse-patient ratios could save thousands of lives annually, says study

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, April 23, 2010

If California's mandatory nurse-patient ratios had been in effect in Pennsylvania and New Jersey hospitals in 2006, those states would have seen 10.6% and 13.9% fewer deaths among general surgical patients, according to a Pennsylvania researcher's analysis.

That equated to 468 lives that might have been saved, says Linda Aiken, director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and the study's lead author.

Aiken's report was published in the journal Health Services Research, and is considered the first comprehensive evaluation of California's controversial 2004 nurse staffing ratio mandate and may inform decisions in 18 other states that are considering lowering their nurse-staff ratios, such as Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Illinois.

To read more about what the study, click here.

Source: HealthLeaders Media

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