Study finds patient care declines as overtime rises
A new study finds that hospitals with more nurses—and less overtime hours for those nurses—see fewer patients readmitted within 30 days of discharge. Additionally, the same study found that higher number of nurse staff hours related to higher patient rating of discharge teaching.
The study of four hospitals in a single Midwest health care system was conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative and looked at a sample of 1,892 patients.
Included in the study was a cost-benefit analysis estimating that hospitals could save $8.18 per patient by reducing R.N. overtime staffing by .07 hours per patient day. The same move would result in payer savings of $10.98 per hospitalized patient.
Additionally, while hospital costs would increase by $197.92 per patient by increasing non-overtime staffing by .75 hours per patient per day, though the move would save payers $607.51 per patient.
What effects have you seen of under staffed nursing programs working large amounts of overtime?