Sunday, August 18, 2019

Higher Nurse-to-Patient Ratios Improves the Quality of Care Essay

The economic impact on healthcare has taken its toll on the reduced number of registered nurses providing direct bedside care to patients compromising patient safety and dramatically increasing the potential for negative outcomes. Studies reveal that several other factors have also played a key role concerning nursing shortages over the years, such as healthcare organizations downsizing, reduced reimbursements, increased workloads, inadequate staffing plans and job dissatisfaction. Currently, mandated minimum nurse-to-patient staffing ratios have been implemented in several states with many more trying to pass some type of legislation (Chapman et al.331). In other states hospitals opted to form safe staffing committees that include the participation of nurses to assure each unit’s need is met. Regulated safe staffing plans for nurse-to-patient ratios in hospitals and other healthcare facilities have been pivotal in reducing the occurrence of adverse patient outcomes, increasin g nurse retention and providing a safer work environment. Skyrocketing medical costs are some of the challenges faced by hospitals today and among their major expenses are nursing labor costs. The burden of reduced spending and managing costs more efficiently is passed on to the hospital finance leaders with the expectancy of reduced reimbursements under the healthcare reform (Sanford 38). Have these ratios affected the quality of care? Healthcare institutions, especially hospitals, argue that reducing the number of registered nurses and diluting the skill mix would not lower care standards (Hunt 18). The argument amongst all sides regarding the best mix and right numbers and the financial impact of applying such ratios is still being debated today. At t... American Nurses Association. 22 July 2010: Web. 13 Jan. 2011. Rotenberk, Lori. "Nurse Super-Union Sets Agenda, Aims to Get Staff Ratio Law Passed. " Hospitals & Health Networks 83.12 (Dec. 2009): 12. Nursing & Allied Health Source. Web. 23 Jan. 2011. Sanford, Kathleen D. "Nurse staffing: finding the right number and mix." Healthcare Financial Management 64.9 (2010): 38. Academic One File. Web. 26 Jan. 2011. â€Å"Study Shows Increasing Nursing Staff Would Improve Safety, Quality in Hospitals.† Thrall, Terese Hudson. "Nurse Staffing Laws: Should You Worry? " Hospitals & Health Networks 82.4 (Apr. 2008): 36-39 Nursing & Allied Health Source. Web. 23 Jan. 2011. United States. Dept. of Government Affairs. The Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act of 2010. Federal Legislation. 2010: H.R. 5527/S 349. American Nurses Association. Web. 13 Jan. 2011

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