You’re going to see a difference

Reuters on study linking better nursing with better patient outcomes

A 2016 Reuters item highlighted key findings of a new study showing that a better nursing environment means better patient outcomes. Ironically, the piece itself did not fully embrace such an environment, relying mainly on physician comment and understating the credentials of the one nurse it did quote.

January 21, 2016 – Today Reuters ran a short piece by Andrew M. Seaman reporting that a new study showed post-surgical patients have better outcomes, including lower mortality, where there are better nurse staffing and work environments. The JAMA Surgery study identified a group of 35 hospitals that had (1) at least one nurse per bed (that is not further explained) and (2) Magnet status, the multi-factor certification of nursing quality issued by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The study compared outcomes for more than 25,000 surgical patients at those hospitals with an equal number of similar patients at 293 other hospitals that did not meet the two nursing standards. At the hospitals with better nursing environments, fewer patients died within 30 days of arrival at the hospital (4.8 vs. 5.8 percent), a disparity that grew to 3 percentage points for “the least healthy patients”; fewer patients died after having surgical complications (7.5 vs. 8.9 percent); the odds of the patients needing to be in the intensive care unit were roughly half as great; and hospital care was a better value, with the better-nursing hospitals providing the better care at “about the same cost.” The piece has several quotes from lead author Jeffrey Silber, an MD, PhD and professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He says the study is for the “referring doctor or health policy analyst.” Leaving nurses themselves out of the referring and policy equations is less than ideal. And so is having two of the three experts quoted in the piece be physicians. At least the second one, University of Michigan surgeon Amir Ghaferi (who co-wrote an editorial on this study) notes that other studies have also found better outcomes at Magnet hospitals. And the lone nurse consulted, Ardith Doorenbos, confirms that “you’re going to see a difference in the amount of care and the quality of care when you have a good nursing environment.” The piece states that Doorenbos is “professor at the University of Washington School of Nursing and investigator at the UW Medicine Surgical Outcomes Research Center in Seattle.” That’s good, although it would have been better to make explicit that she is an RN, PhD, especially since both quoted physicians are identified as “Dr.” (We note that two of Silber’s study co-authors are RN, PhDs.) These flaws are ironic in a piece about the value of nursing. Still, we thank Seaman and Reuters for highlighting this research.

See the article “Surgery patients do better when hospitals are good to nurses,” by Andrew Seaman, published January 21, 2016 by Reuters.

SOURCE: bit.ly/1T9DdOu JAMA Surgery, online January 21, 2016.

2 comments

Posts Carousel

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

2 Comments

  • Avatar
    Barbara Green
    March 4, 2019, 2:10 am

    This is so true. Hospitals are short staffing nurses and the level of care is definitely less than it used to be, it gets worse every year. I have been a nurse for 45 years and this is the worst I’ve ever experienced. I would not be a patient in my own hospital at this point.

    REPLY
    • Avatar
      P K@Barbara Green
      March 5, 2019, 8:23 pm

      I agree with you Barbara Green. Nursing care on the floors is non-existent. Yet hospitals say they are trying to get more help. They post jobs but do not hire. They want more part-time people with no benefits. They make you do more with less. So what happens bedside nurses? They leave the bedside. Terrible going home feeling like you did not do what you knew needed to be done. Denied lunch breaks or general bathroom breaks, called off when census low using your time off to get paid, so your vacation time cut, and the benefits now are terrible. I WAS LUCKY IN THE IN THE ICU YOU CAN DO ACTUAL NURSING, BUT EVEN THEY HAVE BEEN AFFECTED. ALSO A LOT OF BACKBITING, JEALOUSY, LACK OF SUPPORT BY THE STAFF, AND ALL LEVELS OF MANAGERS AND SUPERVISORS. LACK OF PROFESSIONALISM AND COLLEGIAL BEHAVIORS. I HAVE BEEN A RN 46 YEARS ( 30 IN THE ICU’S). NURSING EXECS AND STATE NURSING ASSOCIATIONS DO NOTHING BUT LIE TO THE LEGISLATORS. I HAVE BEEN TO SEVERAL, HEARINGS AND HEARD IT PERSONALLY WITH SEVERAL OTHER NURSES. WE HAVE FOUGHT MANDATORY STAFFING RATIOS FOR DECADES, YET THESE SO CALLED NURSING EXECS SEEM TO IGNORE THEIR OWN DESIRED EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE WHICH SAYS THAT THE MORE NURSES YOU HAVE, THE BETTER CARE YOU GET, THE LOWER THE MORTALITY RATE. THEY SEEM TO IGNORE THAT ONE. SORRY DIDN’T REALIZE I SWITCHED TO CAPS… NOT YELLING JUST TOO TIRED AND FRUSTRATED BY EVERYDAY HASSLES OF LIFE. EMOTIONAL SUBJECT TOO! GLAD I AM RETIRED, WOULD NOT WANT TO PRACTICE THE WAY IT IS NOW. SO MY FAMILY GETS THE BENEFITS OF MY KNOWLEDGE. I MAKE SURE THEY GET WHAT THEY NEED.This has been going on for decades!

      REPLY
Translate »