i've also posted something on this on the nursing news area, which seems to be awaiting moderator approval before it shows up. in the meantime, i have found a link to the original study so i thought i'd put a somewhat different posting in this area. it seems particularly germane here, since the ratio law that was being studied was created entirely by a nursing union, while the ana and other non-union nursing associations have stood with the hospital associations in opposition to ratios. in light of this research, their continuing opposition seems harder to justify.
the new study is by well-known researcher linda aiken and is a three-state study that looked at patient safety, nurse satisfaction and quality of care as rated by both staff nurses and management nurses. here's the lede of a report from health leaders media, which can be read in its entirety here: http://www.healthleadersmedia.com/co...lly-says-study
if california's mandatory nurse-patient ratios had been in effect in pennsylvania and new jersey hospitals in 2006, those states would have seen 10.6% and 13.9% fewer deaths among general surgical patients
, according to a pennsylvania researcher's analysis.
that equated to 468 lives that might have been saved, says linda aiken, director of the center for health outcomes and policy research at the university of pennsylvania school of nursing and the study's lead author.
her report was published in the journal health services research
, and is considered the first comprehensive evaluation of california's controversial 2004 nurse staffing ratio mandate and may inform decisions in 18 other states that are considering lowering their nurse-staff ratios, such as massachusetts, minnesota, and illinois.
aiken's study received funding support from the robert wood johnson foundation and the national institute of nursing research at the national institutes of health.
there's a lot more good information in that article linked above. i highly recommend reading it. and for those who want more detail, the original study can be found here: http://www.nationalnursesunited.org/...udy_042010.pdf
here's a very short summary of the results from the intro of the study:
california hospital nurses cared for one less patient on average
than nurses in the other states and two fewer patients on medical and surgical units.
lower ratios are associated with significantly lower mortality.when nursesí workloads
were in line with california-mandated ratios in all three states, nursesí burnout and job
dissatisfaction were lower, and nurses reported consistently better quality of care.
hospital nurse staffing ratios mandated in california are associated with
lower mortality and nurse outcomes predictive of better nurse retention in california
and in other states where they occur.
i encourage you to read at least the article above, and at least skim the study report. isn't it time for all patients to have the benefit of ratios?