AHRQ Study Links Hospital Nurse Staffing Increases to Fewer Adverse Events, Lower Lengths of Stay
Half of the U.S. population accounted for more than 97 percent of total health care expenses in 2012, while the other half of the population accounted for the remaining 3 percent. (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Statistical Brief #448: Differentials in the Concentration of Health Expenditures across Population Subgroups in the U.S., 2012.)
- AHRQ Study Links Hospital Nurse Staffing Increases to Fewer Adverse Events, Lower Lengths of Stay.
- AHRQ Report Features Hospitals' Use of 'Lean' Process Redesign.
- New AHRQ Funding Seeks To Expand Evidence Base on Health IT System Safety.
- AHRQ Seeks Feedback on Proposed Update of CAHPS Clinician & Group Survey.
- AHRQ in the Professional Literature.
Increases in hospital nurse staffing levels are associated with reductions in adverse events and lengths of stay and do not lead to increased costs, a longitudinal study by AHRQ concluded. Researchers also found that increasing the number of registered nurses, as opposed to other nursing positions, led to reduced costs. The authors linked hospital nurse staffing data to AHRQ's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) State Inpatient Databases from California, Maryland and Nevada between 2008 and 2011 to estimate the causal relationship between nurse staffing (level and skill mix), quality (adverse events as measured by nurse-sensitive patient safety indicators), lengths of stay and cost. The findings suggest that increased staffing of registered nurses can improve patient outcomes and efficiency. "Examining the Value of Inpatient Nurse Staffing: An Assessment of Quality and Patient Care Costs" and the abstract appeared in the November issue of Medical Care. Authors included AHRQ's H. Joanna Jiang, Ph.D., and Carol Stocks, Ph.D., R.N.
A new AHRQ-funded report shows how hospitals used an organizational redesign approach known as "Lean" to enhance the quality and efficiency of various health care processes. The report, "Improving Care Delivery Through Lean: Implementation Case Studies," includes six in-depth case studies that explain how Lean principles were applied in 13 distinct implementation projects. The implementation projects included improving patient flow during hospital care, electronic prescribing of medicines, reducing the cost of hip and knee replacement surgery and preventing urinary tract infection. For each case study, researchers assessed how Lean was implemented. They identified success factors and implementation challenges that affected achievement of outcomes, such as improvement in quality, efficiency, costs and employee satisfaction. Among the organizational factors shaping project success and the progress of the overall Lean initiative were executive and project leadership; the organization's existing improvement structure; information technology support; project planning and scheduling. The practical information from this analysis can help other hospitals and health systems apply Lean principles to their own efforts.
AHRQ has published a Special Emphasis Notice to support projects to generate new evidence on health information technology (IT) system safety. The standing R01 and R21 Funding Opportunity Announcements will support research regarding the safety of health IT. Patient Safety Organization involvement in R01 projects is strongly encouraged, as is industry partnership. AHRQ is interested in funding applications that will conduct research on safe health IT practices specifically related to the design, implementation, usability and safe use of health IT by all users, including patients. These projects would generate new evidence on safe health IT practices that could be used to inform health IT certification and other forms of policy guidance.
AHRQ is inviting comments on several proposed changes to the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Clinician & Group (CG-CAHPS) Survey and the Patient-Centered Medical Home Item Set. The proposed changes are summarized in a Federal Register Notice published January 21. Comments on the proposed changes must be received no later than 5 p.m. ET February 20. Please submit comments by email, with "CG-CAHPS Proposed Changes" in the subject line. CAHPS surveys ask consumers about their experiences with health care. The CAHPS program at AHRQ supports the development and promotion of CAHPS surveys, toolkit materials and comparative databases and provides technical assistance to users.
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Page originally created February 2015