XVI Coloquio Panamericano de Investigación en Enfermería

Titulo

RN Staffing Ratios: A Necessary Solution to the Patient Safety Crisis in U.S. Hospitals

Autores

Gerard Brogan RN

Resumen


Introduction:                                                  

There is a patient safety crisis in the United States. Every day it is estimated that 700 people die from preventable errors in their medical treatment or complications from those errors. As the death toll continues, nurses are urging much needed action to save lives and prevent needless harm by implementing evidence-based, mandatory, minimum nurse-to-patient ratios that are improved upon as individual patient needs warrant.

Objective:

To determine the efficacy of mandates nurse-to-patient ratios as implemented in California in terms of patient care outcomes and safety, and nursing safety and cost savings.

Methods:

A meta review of all studies and literature on the subject of efficacy of mandated nurse-to-patient ratios over a twenty year period was undertaken.

Results:

Research from the last few decades has overwhelmingly shown that safe staffing levels and ratios help improve patient outcomes in mortality, adverse events, complications, failure to rescue, quality of care, costs, and length of stay. Safe staffing levels also help decrease nurse burnout and job dissatisfaction.

Conclusions:

Registered nurse staffing levels that facilitate safe, competent, therapeutic, and effective care is vital to the safety of patients in U.S. hospitals. Registered nurse staffing levels that facilitate safe, competent, therapeutic, and effective care is vital to the safety of patients in U.S. hospitals. As examined in detail above, research reveals that these ratios are associated with lower mortality, lower nurse burnout, and better nurse retention.


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