Better work environments equal better patient outcomes

Nurse Leader Insider, March 24, 2016

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The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) has updated its standards for healthy work environment, this time emphasizing the connection between nurses’ work environment with patient safety and outcomes.

A few months ago, the Harvard Business Review released a study that demonstrates how a positive work culture can increase the success of a company. A stressful work environment hinders productivity in a variety of ways, including employee health problems, employee disengagement, and difficulties retaining employees. A workplace with satisfied and engaged employees leads to better productivity.

In hospitals, it is sometimes more difficult to gauge productivity. However, one of the key metrics for measuring a facility’s success is patient outcomes, and the second edition of the AACN Standards for Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments: A Journey to Excellence suggests that many of the same workplace factors that increase productivity in a business also improve patient outcomes. The AACN president, Karen McQuillan, RN, MS, CNS-BC, CCRN, CNRN, FAAN said in a press release: “These standards confirm that healthy work environments are unquestionably linked to optimal outcomes for patients and their families, nurses and other healthcare professionals and healthcare organizations.”

While the specific statistics of the study have yet to be released, the standards themselves emphasize just how important it is to keep nurses happy and healthy.

You can read the new standards here.

For more tips on keeping a healthy nursing environment, check out our Leaders’ Lounge blog.

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