Improved staffing cuts medicare patient readmissions

Improved staffing cuts medicare patient readmissions
Hospital nurses with good work environments who are caring for fewer patients have significantly fewer elderly Medicare patients with heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, and pneumonia who are readmitted to the hospital within the first 30 days, according to research published in the January issue of Medical Care.

(HealthDay)—Hospital nurses with good work environments who are caring for fewer patients have significantly fewer elderly Medicare patients with heart failure, acute myocardial infarction (MI), and pneumonia who are readmitted to the hospital within the first 30 days, according to research published in the January issue of Medical Care.

Matthew D. McHugh, Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H., R.N., and Chenjuan Ma, Ph.D., R.N., of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, studied the relationship between the work environment, education, and staffing level of hospital nurses and 30-day readmissions for Medicare , acute MI, and pneumonia.

The researchers found that, overall, 23.3 percent of heart failure, 19.1 percent of MI, and 17.8 percent of pneumonia cases in were readmitted to the hospital within 30 days. The risk of readmission for these conditions was between 6 and 9 percent higher for each additional patient assigned to a hospital nurse. Additionally, patients cared for by hospital nurses working in a good work environment had a significantly lower risk of readmission for heart failure (7 percent lower), MI (6 percent lower), and pneumonia (10 percent lower).

"Our results suggest that improving nurses' work environment and reducing nurses' workload are organization-wide reforms that could result in fewer readmissions for with common medical conditions," the authors write. "This is consistent with the evidence showing significant associations between the nurse work environment, staffing, and other patient outcomes."

More information: href="http://journals.lww.com/lww-medicalcare/Abstract/2013/01000/Hospital_Nursing_and_30_Day_Readmissions_Among.11.aspx" target="_new">Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Here's to wine, chocolate and a long, healthy life

48 minutes ago

Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 at the age of 122, remains the oldest person on record. One might assume that she led a faultless, healthy lifestyle. Not at all. Every year on her birthday, as her celebri ...

Experts discuss communications gap on vaccines

1 hour ago

The number of parents who refuse to vaccinate their children is on the rise, and with it the incidence of preventable diseases such as measles. The health community could reverse the trend by doing a better ...

Do wearable lifestyle activity monitors really work?

14 hours ago

Wearable electronic activity monitors hold great promise in helping people to reach their fitness and health goals. These increasingly sophisticated devices help the wearers improve their wellness by constantly monitoring ...

User comments