Low nursing levels leads to higher patient mortality: 4 insights

Hospitals with low nursing staffing levels may have higher patient mortality risk, according to a Sweden-based Karolinska Institutet thesis, Medical Xpress reports. Swedish researchers had nurses answer a series of questions about the care they did not provide due to a lack of time.

Here are four insights:

1. The responses showed a correlation between fewer nurses, more missed care and an increase in patient mortality.

2. For patients who underwent common, non-life threatening surgeries, researchers associated a 10 percent missed care rate to a 16 percent higher patient mortality risk within 30 days of surgery.

3. Seventy-four percent of those surveyed said they did not perform care due to time constraints.

4. Jane Ball, RN, a study researcher aid doctoral student at Karolinska Institutet's department of learning, informatics, management and ethics, said, "We found a significant association between mortality rates and the volume of missed care owing to lack of nursing time, which supports the inference of a causal connection between registered nurse staffing and patient mortality."

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