Mandating nurse patient ratios
Are nurses doing a better job, and by extension, are doctors and other hospital workers?And how much has the increased expense affected hospitals' bottom lines? As one might expect, hospitals and nursing organizations are divided in their perception of how things are going.The findings are the latest in a long line of studies showing that physicians are the nation’s highest-paid...Read More Although nonprofit and for-profit hospitals are fundamentally similar, there are significant cultural and operational differences, such as strategic approaches to scale and operational discipline. Another reason is the idea that creating ratios based strictly on mandatory numbers is not enough to address the complexities of staffing and patient care.For example, the American Nurses Association says numbers-only ratios are too rigid and don't allow nurses to make staffing decisions that address their individual unit's needs or to account for patient acuity.She is a proponent of updating patient acuity instruments which have traditionally been time-based."For example, a tool may have allocated 5 minutes to suction a patient. At Boston Children's Hospital, the CAMEO nursing acuity instrument was developed "as a contemporary tool to measure the cognitive workload and complexity of nursing work.
The researchers evaluated the relationships between objective and subjective workload measures and quality of care and found the nurses' perceived workloads had a consistently strong influence on missed essential care.
Optimal staffing is influenced by many factors, including cognitive workload and nurse experience.