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Nurse Workload Impacts on Patient Satisfaction and Mortality Rates by Idowu Olabode : December 07, 2014, 06:17:02 AM
According to a renowned patient safety expert, increasing the amount of work assigned to nurses in hospitals puts the patients' lives at risk. Research shows that every patient added to a nurse's workload was associated with a 7 per cent increase in hospital deaths after common surgery, says Professor Linda Aiken.

At a symposiumin Brisbane with the theme Keeping Patients Safety, Dr. Aiken told Queensland Nurses Union that the population of bachelor-educated nurses working in hospitals influences mortality rates. As an example, she presented a study on nine European hospitals showing if they had at least 60 per cent bachelor-educated nurses and no more than 6 patients each, more than 3,500 deaths a year might be prevented.

Professor Aiken emphasises the vital role of nursing in patient safety and the pertinent problem of reducing nursing personnel due to cost cutting measures."So we're not really improving patient safety as much as we would like because we're ignoring the foundational contribution of adequate nurse staffing and good work environments to improving patient safety," she says.

Her study has been published in The Lancet.  Findings were also based on researches done in 30 other countries. Despite differences in health institute systems such as quality of hospitals, resources, nurse-patient ratio, a general trend is observed-increasing the nurse's workload greatly affects patient outcomes.  Other possible reasons for such increase have been considered before stating the conclusion.

Furthermore, Professor Aiken stated that patient satisfaction was lower in hospitals that employ overseas-educated nurses. She highlights the significance of culture and communication in nurse-patient interaction.  Foreign-educated nurses could enhance care but they cannot substitute a country's own nurses when it comes to better communication with patients.

International recruitment of migrant nurses and other health workers is being done in several developed countries to compensatefor nursing shortage. This migration also affects the nurse-patient ratio in countries deploying nurses overseas.

Source: http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/575006/20141205/nurses-mortality-rates-patient-outcome.htm#.VIPukF2t-o8

« Last Edit: December 07, 2014, 06:20:45 AM by Idowu Olabode »

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