The impact of sub par health care, results in a higher number of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) and poor patient outcomes. Implementation of infection control practices and HAI prevention programs are two of the most important aspects of nursing care being utilized to improve patient outcomes. The effect of nurse staffing configurations and nurse-to-patient ratios have also been shown to play a significant role in the relationship between nurses and HAIs. Literature Review Cimiotti et al.’s (2012) summary article utilized data from nursing surveys and annual reports on Pennsylvania HAIs to detail the relationship between nurse burnout, case/patient load, and infection rate. As a result, “if the proportion of nurses with high burnout could be reduced by 10% from an average of 30%, some 4,160 infections would be prevented in Pennsylvania hospitals, leading to an estimated cost savings of $41 million” (Cimiotti et al., 2012).
“Evidence shows that the unrestricted presence and participation of a support person can enhance patient and family satisfactio... ... middle of paper ... ...they do not have to rely solely on their nurse to accommodate their needs. In turn the nurse’s workload can be decreased and made easier with well cared for and satisfied patients. Conclusion Although, there may seem to be several counter arguments that support a closed visitation intensive care unit, current research strongly supports the facts of increased patient and nurse satisfaction with open visitation policies. Research involving HIPPA violation, infection, anxiety, and increased workload has been updated and renewed with information supporting factors of more satisfied, less stressed, and overall better cared for patients, relatives, and nurses. The open visitation policies should be universal and accompanied with set quiet times that are beneficial to the patients’ orientation and families’ participation through the duration of the patients’ stay.
By implementing a medications administering system that effectively integrates technology, communication between members of a healthcare team, and patient-centered care, healthcare facility can drastically reduce the number of medication errors that occur each year. The continued improvement of a patient’s health is the most important goal of nurses’ and healthcare providers. By making a medication error a nurse could be directly responsible for negatively effecting a patient’s health, or possibly cause the death. Though mistakes like these do happen nurses and healthcare facilities can protect themselves, and more importantly their patients, from medication errors, by being constantly vigilant and following proven models for care.
That is why, countless programs organized at the hospital is nothing more than to aim for increase of human capital of the staff. Research by K.V. Rondeau et. al. (2009) show that healthcare organizations that have made greater investments in their nursing human capital are more likely to demonstrate lower levels of turnover of their registered nursing personnel.
Both report feeling safer and patients appreciate feeling more attended to (Cho et al., 2011). Furthermore, patients tend to report higher rates of satisfaction when they have shorter hospital stays & direct correlations between length of stay & more nursing time at the bedside have been established (Chan et al., 2011). Confounding Variables Without participating in a longitudinal study, it is difficult to truly assess the efficacy in mandating nurse staffing ratios. It is difficult to measure the benefits of mandated staffing due to numerous confounding variables. These confounding variables include the resources available at specific hospitals in addition to the populations that they serve.
As the reimbursement system for hospitals today emphasizes quality outcomes, this has an increase in the importance of the nurse’s role in patient care (Frith, Anderson, Tseng, & Fong, 2012). The quality of care is effected when there are higher RN-to-patient ratios. Mortality rates can be decreased by 50% or more when there is a lower RN-to-patient ratio. The morale of nursing staff and the hospital’s reputation are effected when there is a large nurse turnover and poor patient outcomes (Martin, 2015; Knudson, 2013). Having adequate nurse staffing levels saves lives (Martin, 2015).
The rationale for the change Registered nurses are on the front line in all the hospitals for early detection and prompt intervention when patients' conditions deteriorate. So better patient outcomes depend on the number of skilled staff available to take care of the patients. To decrease staff burnout and improve staff satisfaction, adequate staff ratio is needed. Providing consistency of nursing caregivers may significantly improve both health and economic outcomes (Mefford, 2011). When there is an adequate staffing in the unit, it greatly decreases anxiety on the nurses, patients and the families.
Tempting as this may seem, this method presents a massive dilemma to providing safe quality care. Less staff coupled with large patient workloads will lead to adverse patient outcomes. Evidence shows that it is more cost effective to maintain safe staffing levels and prevent adverse patient outcomes versus the estimated savings of labor reduction. Maintaining safe nurse to patient ratios reduces patient infection rates and patient mortality rates. Ratios also reduces nursing fatigue, which increases job satisfaction and nurse retention rates saving on the cost of hiring and training new staff.
While we cannot stop the ticking clock in our body, we have made it possible for aging to be delayed and relieved to a great extent through advance technology and modern governance. High-tech equipments and medications are available for the treatments of more illnesses as our understanding of medicine improves and governments nowadays are doing more for the elderly population in their society. With more emphasis placed on healthcare by governments today and the advancement of our medical technology, people get to live longer. Cancers are not as deadly as in the past and new vaccines are constantly being developed. People, including the elderly, are made less vulnerable to the incapacitation of diseases, and in a way, we become biologically stronger.
The number of patients assigned per nurse has been directly linked to nurse job satisfaction and patient outcomes; with a ratio of four patients to one nurse being the ideal ratio (7). Research has shown that the addition of just one patient per nurse has been associated with a higher risk of death for patients and an increase in nurse job dissatisfaction and burnout (2). This is significant because nurses wish to provide the best quality of care for patients and with increased patient to nurse ratios, nurses are unable to maintain their ideal quality of care; which leads to job dissatisfaction and nurse burnout. Originally, after the passage of the California nurse staffing act, which set mandated nurse-patient rations, overall job satisfaction appeared to increase (1). However, several longitudinal studies have suggested that direct care nurses are still dissatisfied despite increased nurse to patient ratios (1).