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Welcome to Vegas Lawyer. This site is for people who were hurt in Nevada. Contact us for a free consultation. You may want to read the Las Vegas Personal Injury Law introduction on our home page. Also, you can get an overview of other claims like Wrongful Death, Auto Accidents, Slip & Fall, and Products Liability before you explore the Article below.

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Poor Patient Outcomes

Studies Show Lower Nurse Staffing Levels Contribute To Poor Patient Outcomes

May 3, 2004

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality today issued a new synthesis of research studies funded by AHRQ and others that indicates that hospitals with lower nurse staffing levels, nurses who spent less time with patients, or fewer registered nurses compared with licensed practical nurses or nurses' aides tend to have higher rates of poor patient outcomes, including pneumonia, shock, cardiac arrest, and urinary tract infections.

The six studies reviewed for the synthesis found different rates of adverse events, depending on the reason for the hospitalization (medical or surgical), as well as other factors. Three of the studies found that pneumonia rates are particularly sensitive to nurse staffing levels, which were measured as the ratio of nurses to patients or nursing hours per patient per day.

Several studies indicated that nurse staffing levels may also be associated with mortality rates. Two studies showed that the 30-day mortality rate and the likelihood of failure to rescue are higher when nurse staffing levels are lower. Another showed that a higher proportion of more highly educated nurses can reduce the 30-day mortality rate and the odds of failure to rescue. Closely related to the issue of nurse staffing level is patient acuity—the level of care and services needed by the patient. One study adjusted the total number of patient days of in-hospital care by the severity of illnesses, and showed that as patient acuity rose while nurse staffing levels remained the same, the ratio of nurses to patient days therefore declined.

Another important finding was that increasing nurse staffing levels does not significantly decrease a hospital's profits, in contrast to increases in non-nurse staffing. Furthermore, the costs associated with adverse events that might otherwise be avoided are considerable.



This information came from an
AHRQ online article.

*** Any law, statute, regulation or other precedent is subject to change at any time ***

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DEMPSEY, ROBERTS & SMITH, LTD.
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